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View Thread: How essential to Microsoft is Bill Gates?
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    As a Microsoft employee I can add my two cents.  I don't know Bill well at all on a personal level.  I have been in meetings with him and worked with him on conferences a handful of times in my career. 

    What I can say is that Bill is WAY more than just money bags here.  His wealth is connected to the company and not the other way around. Bill doesn't personally fund anything we do. 

    Bill is one of the co-founders and his influence in the company is very deep as any co-founder's is. Does he plan everything we do?  No.  Does he let his people innovate and provide thoughtful feedback, yes.  Bill is a very very gifted man IMHO.  The person you see on television is not the whole person by any means.

    He is funny, he is smart, he is a person like you and I.  He laughs, he tells stories, and he is critical when needed.  I have found him to be very likeable the few times I have worked with him. 

    When Bill does make the very personal decision to move on one day, Microsoft will lose a very important part of its essence.  Until then, I am glad to have learned a few things from him in my 7 years here. He has taught all of us a thing or two that will live on well after he moves on from Microsoft.