OLD Media Moves

Seattle columnist Dudley predicted Gates move

June 25, 2006

Seattle Times technology columnist Brier Dudley predicted Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ move away from the business operations toward his foundation with his first column several months ago, before Gates announced the decision, Times executive editor Mike Fancher noted in his Sunday column.

Brier DudleyDudley wrote on April 17: “Nobody is saying that Gates is ready to give up his title as chief software architect at the company he and Paul Allen started 31 years ago, especially now, while it’s trying to finish a line of major new products. But don’t be surprised if his transition to philanthropist happens sooner than expected.”

“There were a lot of signs that it was happening, and I had a strong sense of what was going on. As a columnist I could throw my suspicion out to readers,” said Dudley in Fancher’s column.

Added Fancher: “Dudley laid out those signs and the column was like a dot-to-dot picture. Gates connected the dots two months later, announcing that he will step aside at Microsoft over the next two years to work full time at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. After the announcement, Gates held individual interviews with reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and with Dudley. Our front-page story last Sunday was the result of 40 minutes Dudley spent with Gates and the two executives named to take on his technology role at Microsoft.”

Read more here.

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