Bill Gates

Bill Gates

William H. Gates
Chairman and Chief Software Architect
Microsoft Corporation

William (Bill) H. Gates is chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. Microsoft had revenues of US$32.19 billion for the fiscal year ending June 2003, and employs more than 55,000 people in 85 countries and regions.

Born on Oct. 28, 1955, Gates grew up in Seattle with his two sisters. Their father, William H. Gates II, is a Seattle attorney. Their late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International.

Gates attended public elementary school and the private Lakeside School. There, he discovered his interest in software and began programming computers at age 13.

In 1973, Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman, where he lived down the hall from Steve Ballmer, now Microsoft's chief executive officer. While at Harvard, Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer - the MITS Altair.

In his junior year, Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers. Gates' foresight and his vision for personal computing have been central to the success of Microsoft and the software industry.

Under Gates' leadership, Microsoft's mission has been to continually advance and improve software technology, and to make it easier, more cost-effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers. The company is committed to a long-term view, reflected in its investment of more than $6.8 billion on research and development in the current fiscal year.

In 1999, Gates wrote Business @ the Speed of Thought, a book that shows how computer technology can solve business problems in fundamentally new ways. The book was published in 25 languages and is available in more than 60 countries. Business @ the Speed of Thought has received wide critical acclaim, and was listed on the best-seller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Gates' previous book, The Road Ahead, published in 1995, held the No. 1 spot on the New York Times' bestseller list for seven weeks.

Gates has donated the proceeds of both books to non-profit organizations that support the use of technology in education and skills development.

In addition to his love of computers and software, Gates is interested in biotechnology. He sits on the board of ICOS, a company that specializes in protein-based and small-molecule therapeutics, and he is an investor in a number of other biotechnology companies. Gates also founded Corbis, which is developing one of the world's largest resources of visual information - a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe.

Philanthropy is also important to Gates. He and his wife, Melinda, have endowed a foundation with more than $24 billion to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning, with the hope that as we move into the 21st century, advances in these critical areas will be available for all people. To date, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed more than $3.2 billion to organizations working in global health; more than $2 billion to improve learning opportunities, including the Gates Library Initiative to bring computers, Internet Access and training to public libraries in low-income communities in the United States and Canada; more than $477 million to community projects in the Pacific Northwest; and more than $488 million to special projects and annual giving campaigns.

Gates was married on Jan. 1, 1994, to Melinda French Gates. They have three children. Gates is an avid reader, and enjoys playing golf and bridge.

Last updated September 2003

(Credit: Microsoft)


Press Release

October 3, 2007

Former Mexican Institutes of Health Director Joins Foundation

Dr. Jaime Sepulveda appointed director of Integrated Health Solutions Development in the foundation's Global Health Program


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Phone: 206.709.3400

SEATTLE -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that Dr. Jaime Sepulveda has joined the foundation's Global Health Program as director of Integrated Health Solutions Development. Dr. Sepulveda is former director of the National Institutes of Health of Mexico and also Mexico's former vice minister of health.

In his new position, Dr. Sepulveda will oversee the foundation's efforts to develop new tools and strategies for diseases and health conditions that claim millions of lives every year in the poorest countries. His specific areas of responsibility will include maternal, newborn, child, and reproductive health; vaccine-preventable diseases; and nutrition.

"Jaime is an accomplished health scientist, and throughout his distinguished career he has been a passionate advocate for health," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. "We're incredibly fortunate to have him leading our efforts to develop effective new tools to fight the world's greatest health problems."

Prior to joining the foundation, Dr. Sepulveda served for more than 20 years in a variety of senior health posts in the Mexican government. As director of the National Institutes of Health of Mexico from 2003 to 2006, Dr. Sepulveda oversaw Mexico's medical research institutes with a combined annual budget of more than $1 billion. He also served as director-general of Mexico's National Institute of Public Health and dean of the National School of Public Health for almost a decade.

"I am excited and honored to join the Gates Foundation, and look forward to working with the foundation's grantees, partners, and staff," Dr. Sepulveda said. "This is an important time in global health research and development--we're closer than ever to new vaccines, drugs, and other tools that could greatly improve health in poor countries."

In addition to his research credentials, Dr. Sepulveda is an experienced implementer of effective health programs. As Mexico's director-general of epidemiology and later vice minister of health, Dr. Sepulveda designed Mexico's Universal Vaccination Program, which eliminated polio, measles, and diphtheria by more than doubling childhood immunization coverage in two years.

He also established a national health surveillance system that has trained hundreds of field epidemiologists and includes a network of state health laboratories. He is the founder of Mexico's National AIDS Council, and is credited with helping to implement early and aggressive HIV prevention campaigns.

Dr. Sepulveda holds a medical degree from National Autonomous University of Mexico and three advanced degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

The foundation's Integrated Health Solutions Development program is one of five teams in the recently reorganized Global Health Program. The others are Infectious Diseases Development, Global Health Discovery, Global Health Delivery, and Global Health Advocacy.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ( Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to reduce inequities and improve lives around the world. In developing countries, it focuses on improving health, reducing extreme poverty, and increasing access to technology in public libraries. In the United States, the foundation seeks to ensure that all people have access to a great education and to technology in public libraries. In its local region, it focuses on improving the lives of low-income families. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Patty Stonesifer and Co-chairs William H. Gates Sr., Bill Gates, and Melinda French Gates.




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