Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Buffet's Contribution

Having praised Gates for taking the lead, it will be shame if Warren Buffet is not given similar or better kudos for his recent decision to contribute to the Gates & Melinda Foundation. There is excellent column in today's WSJ (subscription required).

"...But the title should really go to Mr. Buffett. Mr. Gates, after all, is following a well-worn path, in the footsteps of Carnegie, Rockefeller and Mellon. Mr. Buffett is blazing a new trail. He is giving his massive fortune to another man's foundation, he's not asking for his name on the door, and he's insisting the money be spent as it comes in, rather than build up over generations to provide some intimation of immortality...."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Gates leads the way!

Microsoft has often been criticized for not being innovative and for its hard charging ways to destroy competition. Despite such constant criticism, one must admit that Bill Gates decision to phase out of his current role to focus on philanthropy is certainly a great sign of leadership. Doling out money is one, but focusing on it full time is quite another issue. Hopefully, his business success can help him meet with great success in his philanthropic endeavors.

Firstly, announcing the change well in advance was a smart move to avoid any panic on Wall Street. What makes the timing more interesting is that it comes at time when Microsoft is severely threatened by Google and other companies. I guess the master businessman figured that Ray Ozzie was capable of living up to the challenge. Besides, perhaps he figured that business challenges come and go but you live only once. I can't think of how else one can explain a change of heart on the part of one of the world's toughest business leaders. In any case, its great news that the world's richest man has made philanthropy his primary focus. One can only hope that this inspires other business leaders to follow his lead!