Microsoft Official Named New Head of Gates FoundationMicrosoft executive Jeffrey Raikes on Monday was named the new CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the New York Times reports. Raikes will replace Patty Stonesifer, who in February announced that she will step down from her position (Strom, New York Times, 5/13). Raikes joined Microsoft in 1981 and most recently served as president of the company's business software division (Rucker, Washington Post, 5/13). He will start at the Gates Foundation on Sept. 2, a day after he retires from Microsoft (New York Times, 5/13).
As head of the Gates Foundation, Raikes will manage a $37 billion endowment, $3 billion annually in grants and "ambitious goals," such as developing an HIV/AIDS vaccine and eradicating malaria, the Seattle Times reports (Heim, Seattle Times, 5/12). According to the New York Times, the Gates Foundation is growing quickly, "in part to satisfy the terms set by the billionaire investor Warren Buffett when he committed the bulk of his fortune to it." The terms of Buffett's gift require the Gates Foundation to spend the full amount of his annual donation within one year, over and above what foundations must spend under U.S. law (New York Times, 5/13).
Raikes "brings more than 25 years of experience in the private sector and has earned a reputation as a trusted and respected leader," Melinda Gates said in a statement, adding, "Equally important, he shares our passion for these issues and for continuing [Stonesifer's] work to build a great culture at the foundation. [Raikes] is the right CEO to lead the strategies we have in place to help reduce inequities we have in the Untied States and around the world."
Raikes said that "joining the Gates Foundation is an honor and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to focus on improving the lives of others." He added, "I am thrilled to join Bill and Melinda and this team, because I'm convinced that through strong partnerships, ambitious goals and a commitment to impact, we can transform people's lives"
Bill Gates said that Raikes is a "smart, independent thinker who's passionate about using innovation to help people change their lives" (Seattle Times, 5/12).
A Wall Street Journal interview with Raikes is available online.
NPR's "All Things Considered" on Monday included a discussion with the Gateses about Raikes and the foundation (Norris, "All Things Considered," NPR, 5/12). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.