Gates and Ballmer Calm the Microsoft Troops

Microsoft's top two executives share their thoughts via company-wide e-mails on Microsoft's 'New Era of Technical Leadership.' Here is the text of the Ballmer and Gates notes.

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Microsofts chairman and CEO sent e-mail to Microsofts nearly 70,000 employees, explaining the latest management transition, announced June 15, via which Gates will relinquish his day-to-day Microsoft duties and Chief Software Architect title by 2008.

Here is the text of Ballmers and Gates missives:

From: Steve Ballmer

Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 1:31 PM

To: Microsoft and Subsidiaries: All FTE

Subject: New Era of Technical Leadership

I wanted to share some important news with you, and talk a little bit about some of my top priorities in the coming months.

Today we are announcing the news that – effective July 2008 – Bill will transition to a part-time role at the company. While this is significant news, its important to note that for the next two years Bill will continue full-time as Chairman, and that even after July 2008 he will continue as Chairman and an advisor on key development and business issues.

This is not a decision that either Bill or I take lightly. We have a solid transition plan, and Microsoft is well-positioned to make this transition given the depth of senior leaders we have, and our strong pipeline of products over the coming year.

As Microsoft has grown, Bill also has taken on another challenge – the amazing work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to confront critical issues like global health and education. The Foundations efforts have begun to have a major impact, and there is growing need for him to spend more of his time on Foundation activities.

Bill and I have talked over the years about scaling the companys leadership and about succession planning. Our efforts to expand the companys leadership and delegate more authority to meet the challenges of our expanded scope of innovation are well underway.

/zimages/7/28571.gifClick here to read the news about Gates plans to step aside. From: MSBILLG

Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 1:41 PM

To: Microsoft and Subsidiaries: All FTE Subject: My Transition Plans

I wanted to take a moment to share some of my thoughts, as well.

As Steves mail indicates, Ive decided that two years from now, in July 2008, I want to devote more time to the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Right now and for the next two years, my full-time job is here at Microsoft, and my part-time job remains the Foundation. Beginning in July 2008, I will switch that, to be full-time at the Foundation, while remaining involved with Microsoft as Chairman and an advisor on key development projects on a part-time basis.

To prepare for this change, we have a well-thought-out transition process. Again, I will continue at Microsoft full-time for the next two years, but over the course of those two years, my day-to-day responsibilities will shift to a team of incredible technical leaders who are already doing amazing things at the company.

I feel very lucky that weve got extraordinary technical leaders at the company, like Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie, who can step up to assume the roles that Ive played. Ive known Ray for the last 20 years, and he has created some of the most important developments in the industry.

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