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Bill Gates follows Vedic wisdom

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BANGALORE: It’s a weird comparison in many ways. But has Bill Gates followed—maybe unknowingly—the Vedic prescription of renunciation, as was the order that supposedly governed society then? To walk away from what you have been doing all your adult life at 52, when the going is still good with exciting challenges on the horizon, is a tall order. It takes an inner conviction that is hard to explain.


Perhaps Mr Gates will strike a chord with CEOs and corporate founders across the world on issues like succession, retirement and second innings. There will be lessons to draw from the icon, who has chosen to step down while still at his peak.


But then, he has always been a man who knew what he wanted. That was apparent right from the time he decided to drop out of college in the early ’70s. Just as he saw how computing could transform the world, he is perhaps equally clear-eyed about his pet passions: technology and philanthropy.


By the time you read this, he would have stepped out of his familiar moorings of 30-odd years, more or less for good. As non-executive chairman of Microsoft, he may still visit the campus at Redmond near Seattle in Washington state once a week or so and certainly preside over and guide the company’s board.


While he will still take part in special technology projects at Microsoft, his opening the doors to a philanthropic journey will undoubtedly touch billions of lives just as Windows did. It is not as if he is leaving his creation, Microsoft, untended.


Even though the IT landscape will miss the icon, businesses learn to grow on auto-pilot . And, who knows it better than Mr Gates, who bravely gave up the role of CEO years ago to indulge in what he loved: software. After all, many geniuses, who produced wonderful stuff, have moved on and the sector continues to grow at a scorching pace. Even Microsoft had got used to less and less of Mr Gates and more of CEO Steve Ballmer over the past few years.



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