After 25 years on the job, Bill Gates says he is stepping down as chief executive of Microsoft, effective immediately.
During a live press conference at Microsoft Studios in Redmond, Washington, Gates said he will become chairman of the board and chief software architect.
“I’ll spend almost 100 percent of my time on new technologies,” said Gates, who named longtime business partner and acting president Steve Ballmer as his replacement.
Ballmer said during his upcoming reign as CEO, Microsoft will reinvent itself by transforming its Windows-based retail software into an online service.
The executive shakeup comes just a day after reports that government lawyers in the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust case would press for a breakup of Microsoft. Such a move, said Ballmer, “would be reckless beyond belief.”