William H. Gates
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Microsoft Corporation

William (Bill) H. Gates is chairman and chief executive officer of
Microsoft Corporation, the leading provider, worldwide, of software
for the personal computer. and employs more than 20,000
people in 48 countries.

Born on October 28, 1955, Gates and his two sisters grew up in
Seattle. Their father, William H. Gates II, is a Seattle attorney. Their
late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent and
chairwoman of United Way International.

Gates attended public elementary school and the private Lakeside School. There, he began his
career in personal computer software, programming computers at age 13.

In 1973, Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman, where he lived down the hall from
Steve Ballmer, now Microsoft’s executive vice president for sales and support. While at
Harvard, Gates developed the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer -- the
MITS Altair.

In his junior year, Gates dropped out of Harvard to devote his energies to
Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with Paul Allen. Guided by a
belief that the personal computer would be a valuable tool on every office
desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal

Gates’ foresight and vision regarding personal computing have been central
to the success of Microsoft and the software industry. Gates is actively involved in key
management and strategic decisions at Microsoft, and plays an important role in the technical
development of new products. A significant portion of his time is devoted to meeting with
customers and staying in contact with Microsoft employees around the world through e-mail.

Under Gates’ leadership, Microsoft’s mission is to continually advance and
improve software technology and to make it easier, more cost-effective and
more enjoyable for people to use computers.

In 1995, Gates wrote The Road Ahead, his vision of where information technology will take
society. Co-authored by Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft’s chief technology officer, and Peter
Rinearson, The Road Ahead held the No. 1 spot on the New York Times’ bestseller list for
seven weeks. Published in the U.S. by Viking, the book was on the NYT list for a total of 18
weeks. Published in more than 20 countries, the book sold more than 400,000 copies in China
alone. In 1996, while redeploying Microsoft around the Internet, Gates thoroughly revised The
Road Ahead to reflect his view that interactive networks are a major milestone in human
history. The paperback second edition has also become a bestseller. Gates is donating his
proceeds from the book to a non-profit fund that supports teachers worldwide who are
incorporating computers into their classrooms.

In addition to his passion for computers, Gates is interested in
biotechnology. He sits on the board of the Icos Corporation and is a
shareholder in Darwin Molecular, a subsidiary of British-based
Chiroscience. He also founded Corbis Corporation, which is developing
one of the largest resources of visual information in the world-a
comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and
private collections around the globe. Gates also has invested with
cellular telephone pioneer Craig McCaw in Teledesic, a company that is working on an
ambitious plan to launch hundreds of low-orbit satellites around the globe to provide worldwide
two-way broadband telecommunications service.

In the decade since Microsoft has gone public, Gates has donated more than $270 million to
charities, including $200 million to the William H. Gates Foundation. The focus of Gates\' giving
is in three areas: education, population issues and access to technology.

Gates was married on Jan. 1, 1994 to Melinda French Gates. They have one child, Jennifer
Katharine Gates, born in 1996.

Gates is an avid reader and enjoys playing golf and bridg