Bill Gates: Part-time Microsoft, full-time charity

Bill Gates spurns a full-time return to Microsoft, the company he founded, preferring to spend the rest of his life working for his foundation.

Bill Gates today ruled out ever returning to the helm of Microsoft and dismissed harsh barbs by his former arch-rival Steve Jobs.

In an interview with Fairfax Media, Gates said Jobs was driven by the fact that “Microsoft machines outsold his machines by a lot”.

This month Fortune reported rumours that Gates was considering a comeback to Microsoft, the company he founded in 1975 but stepped back from in 2006 to focus full-time on philanthropy.

But speaking in Sydney today, where he is on holiday with his family, Gates said he had made the transition to work full-time at his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “and that will be what I do the rest of my life”.

“I’m part-time involved with Microsoft, including even being in touch this week to give some of my advice but that’s not going to change – the foundation requires all of my energy and we feel we’re having a great impact.”

A possible comeback was loosely compared to Jobs, who took the reins at Apple in the late 90s after a decade in the wilderness and saved the company.

Steve Ballmer, who has been Microsoft’s CEO since taking over from Gates in 2000, is widely considered to have missed the significance of what Jobs dubbed the “post-PC era” and Microsoft is now an also-ran in smartphones, tablets and music players.

Gates, who plans to donate nearly all of his money to charity when he passes away, may be just as culpable as Ballmer for missing the new era in computing as he has been quoted questioning the viability of Apple devices like the iPod and iPad.
via smh.com.au

Elton John and Elena Pinchuk announced their second joint project in Ukraine

On November 9, 2011 in Kiev the founders of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation (EPAAF) presented to journalists their second joint charitable project. Its goal is to help girls and young women who are spend most of their lives on the street and so are highly vulnerable to HIV, to gain access to HIV testing and to receive vital social, medical and legal assistance.

The project is implemented by the global health and human rights organization HealthRight International, with the generous financial support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which is supported by the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation. Read more of this post

Paul G. Allen: A philanthropist from Seattle

Named one of the top philanthropists in the nation, with lifetime giving exceeding $1 billion, Paul G. Allen uses a range of philanthropic strategies to advance his vision. His family foundation, established with co-founder Jo Lynn Allen, focuses much of its grantmaking in the Pacific Northwest region. His philanthropic “venture” projects include the establishment of public museums which celebrate popular and creative art forms. He also initiates charitable projects that apply technology in innovative ways to solve scientific challenges.

Investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen creates and advances world-class projects that improve the way people live, learn, work, and experience the world through arts, education, entertainment, sports, business, and technology. He co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, remained the company’s chief technologist until he left in 1983, and is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc.

Allen’s multibillion dollar investment portfolio includes diverse holdings in real estate, technology, media, and other companies. In 2004 Allen funded SpaceShipOne, the first privately backed effort to successfully put a civilian in suborbital space and winner of the Ansari X-Prize competition. Allen also owns the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association, and is part of the ownership group for the Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle’s Major League Soccer team.

With lifetime giving exceeding $1 billion, Allen has been named one of the top philanthropists in America. In July 2010, Allen made public his intention to leave a majority of his estate to philanthropy. That philanthropy takes many forms today. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation supports nonprofits working to strengthen communities in the Pacific Northwest. In 2003, Allen pledged $100 million to create the Allen Institute for Brain Science, a research facility dedicated to performing innovative basic research on the brain and disseminating its discoveries to researchers around the world. Researchers at the Institute have developed an online interactive atlas of the human brain that shows the activity of the more than 20,000 human genes. Work at the Institute continues to lead scientists to new insights and propel the field of neuroscience dramatically forward.

Allen is also founder of Experience Music Project, Seattle’s critically acclaimed interactive music museum; the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame; the Flying Heritage Collection, an assemblage of rare World War II aircraft restored to flying condition and shared with the public; and Vulcan Productions, the independent film production company behind several PBS series, including This Emotional Life, Evolution, the Emmy Award-winning Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge; and the Peabody Award-winning Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, and The Blues, executive-produced by Martin Scorsese in conjunction with Allen and Jo Lynn Allen.