Bill Gates Spills The Info
Bill Gates Spills The Info: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates used to memorize employees’ license plate numbers so that he could keep track of when they were arriving at work and leaving. Gates, who is now co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, described his intense management style from Microsoft’s early days during an interview on the BBC Radio 4 program “Desert Island Discs.” “I had to be a little careful not to try and apply my standards to how hard [others at the company] worked. I knew everybody’s licence plate so I could look out the parking lot and see, you know, when people come in,” he said. “Eventually I had to loosen up as the company got to a reasonable size.” Gates was 19 when he dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975. He stepped down as the CEO of the software giant in 2000 and stepped down as the company’s chairman in 2014.
On “Desert Island Discs” guests are invited to choose the eight records that they would take with them to a desert island. Among his selections, Gates chose “Under Pressure” by David Bowie and Queen, Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced” and “How Can Love Survive” from “The Sound of Music.” Some may suggest Microsoft’s initiative is little more than a thinly disguised effort to draw in more business in the long term, a charge that’s already been laid at the door of other tech firms — Facebook among them — who’ve made philanthropic moves, but if the plan produces tangible results and truly fulfills its stated aims, Microsoft should comfortably deflect such judgments.