In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, which became the world's largest PC software company. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000, but he remained as chairman and created the position of chief software architect for himself. In June 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie. He stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in February 2014, taking on a new post as technology adviser to support the then newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella.
Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. He has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion that has in some cases been upheld by numerous court rulings. Later in his career, Gates pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.
Since 1987, Gates has been included in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people. As of May 2017, Gates is the richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$88.5 billion. In 2009, Gates and Warren Buffett founded The Giving Pledge, whereby they and other billionaires pledge to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropy.
On February 4, 2014, Gates stepped down as chairman of Microsoft to become Technology Advisor alongside Satya Nadella. Since leaving day-to-day operations at Microsoft, Gates has continued his philanthropy and works on other projects.
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