Yesterday Bill announced to the company and the world that he's giving two years notice. How many groups even get two weeks notice these days?
F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." Conflicting thoughts are whizzing around the company today in the aftermath of Bill's announcement.
Personally, I can't express it better than an employee did yesterday at the "town meeting" - As an employee and Microsoft shareholder, I am sad that Bill will be moving from FTE to part-timer. As a citizen of the world, I rejoice at Bill's decision to take his time and energy to the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Fitzgerald also said "Genius is the ability to put into effect what is on your mind. "
What we all call Microsoft today is in large part the result of Bill's ability to put what is on his mind into effect. I can't wait to see what will happen in education and healthcare worldwide when Bill's mind moves full-time to those problems.
I love Microsoft. But I would change missions with Bill in a heartbeat if he asked.