The charity was founded 8 years ago by Bill and Melinda Gates and was later doubled in size by Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. It now employs a staff of nearly 550 and has an endowment of $37.3 billion.
On February 7, 2008, former CEO Patty Stonesifer announced that she would step aside from her role at the end of the year, however the Foundation has announced that Raikes is to take over from September of this year, the same month he is due to leave Microsoft.
Those who are inclined to think that Raikes won the position because he previously worked for Microsoft should know that the ex-Microsoft employee went through the same screening process as over 150 other applicants and as a finalist was grilled by the company’s top execs before finally getting the job.
"Bill and I considered many extraordinary candidates from around the world during the search for our foundation’s new CEO," said Melinda Gates, foundation co-chair. "Jeff brings more than 25 years of experience in the private sector and has earned a reputation as a trusted and respected leader. 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 joined Microsoft in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University and spent his early years driving the company’s applications marketing strategy and its graphical applications for the Apple Macintosh and the Microsoft Windows operating system. Before becoming president of the Business Division, Raikes was group vice president of the Worldwide Sales and Support Group.