Raikes named as head for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Jeff Raikes is to take the position of CEO of the Gates Foundation on September 2nd.
The head of Microsoft's business division, Raikes will now shift gears and start giving away massive amounts of the Microsoft fortune. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation distributes more than $3 billion in grants each year. NPR has received grants from the foundation.
Raikes announced his resignation from Microsoft in January. Stephen Elop, former chief operating officer at Juniper Networks, will replace Raikes at the software giant. As of July, Bill Gates himself will transition from a day-to-day role with Microsoft — though he'll remain its chairman — to focus more on the foundation's work.
That broad perspective has also characterized the Gates Foundation's approach to poverty and global health. The foundation has been the object of awe, envy and, at times, anger because of its big budget and broad agenda — which includes improving education, alleviating poverty and combating diseases such as malaria and HIV.
"We're focused on the diseases that are ignored, the diseases of the poor," says Bill Gates. "The market is not giving a signal that this work should be done. And so in the rich world, problems like baldness get funded with billions, whereas the things that really kill lots of people, like malaria and TB, used to get basically nothing. Those are what we're going after in health."