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Microsoft's Jeff Raikes to run Gates Foundation

Former Office boss to head up charity

Microsoft veteran Jeff Raikes, a former senior executive announced his retirement from Microsoft in January, is set to take on the role as CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In an announcement yesterday, the Foundation said Raikes will replace Patty Stonesifer, who is stepping down after holding the CEO position for the past 10 years.

Raikes, a 26-year Microsoft veteran who was previously in charge of Office, Windows Server, SQL Server and other key products as the president of the Microsoft Business Division, will begin his new job on September 2.

Raikes announced his retirement from Microsoft on January 8. The following month, Stonesifer unveiled her own plans to move to a new role within the foundation, while giving up her job as CEO later this year. When Stonesifer announced her move, she said she "plans to stay engaged in the work of the foundation in a new and different way", according to the group.

Raikes was chosen after a worldwide search, according to foundation co-chairwoman Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates.

"Jeff brings more than 25 years of experience in the private sector and has earned a reputation as a trusted and respected leader," she said in a statement.

"Equally important, he shares our passion for these issues and for continuing Patty's work to build a great culture at the foundation. Jeff is the right CEO to lead the strategies we have in place to help reduce inequities in the United States and around the world."

Raikes could not immediately be reached for comment late Monday.

"Joining the Gates Foundation is an honour and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to focus on improving the lives of others," Raikes said in a statement. "Patty Stonesifer is a remarkable leader who has cultivated equally remarkable leadership at the foundation. 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."

Foundation co-chairman Bill Gates said in a statement that Raikes is a "smart, independent thinker who's passionate about using innovation to help people change their lives."

The Seattle-based foundation has a $37.3bn endowment and more than 500 employees, according to the group.

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