News and analysis
September 10, 2013

Gates Foundation Chief Executive to Step Down

Courtesy of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Jeff Raikes, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in Nigeria

Jeff Raikes, chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, announced his retirement Tuesday after more than five years leading the world’s largest philanthropy.

Mr. Raikes, 55,  will remain in his position until a successor is named.

In an e-mail and meeting with employees, the former Microsoft executive said he intended to spend more time working with the foundation he and  his wife, Tricia Raikes, founded in 2002, which focuses on youth and education issues.

“When Bill and Melinda approached me about this job in May 2008, we discussed a five-year commitment,” Mr. Raikes wrote in his e-mail to employees. “I am proud of the work we’ve all done together in the past five years.”

During his tenure, the value of the foundation's grants has grown, increasing 21 percent, from $2.8-billion to $3.4-billion, from 2008 to 2012, according to The Chronicle’s Foundation Survey.

Before joining the foundation, the Nebraska native was a member of Microsoft’s senior leadership team and held several executive positions at the company, where he first started working in 1981. Before joining Microsoft, he worked for Apple as a software development manager.

In a news release, Bill and Melinda Gates expressed praise for Mr. Raikes.

“The foundation is in the best shape that it’s ever been in, thanks to Jeff. He has successfully managed the organization through a period of significant growth, built a phenomenal leadership team, and set us on a great path programmatically," said Bill Gates following the announcement.

Added Melinda Gates: “Jeff has been a wonderful collaborator. He kept us looking ahead and positioned the foundation, and Bill and me, for long-term success. He always stressed the importance of partnership and continuous learning, which has been invaluable to improving the work we do.”

Send an e-mail to Doug Donovan.