After Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer announced his retirement in the middle of August, the British bookmaker Ladbrokes began taking bets on who would fill his shoes. At the time, company co-founder Bill Gates had very long odds of 50-to-1. Regardless of the long odds and despite the fact that company insiders have said Gates is not being considered for the job, the rumor that he could return to that leadership position has persisted.
However, Business Insider corned the Microsoft chairman after his speech before the United Nations session devoted to its Millennium Development Goals, and when asked if he would take on the CEO role once again, he told reporters that, “No, I ran Microsoft for a period of time. And, now I’m the chairman helping out on a part-time basis.” His answer was a denial, but not the most convincing denial.
The Business Insider reporter then asked whether Gates faced any “temptation to get back in that [technology] world” so that he could “try to get rid of these kinds of things,” pointing to a reporter in the room typing on a keyboard hooked to an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and a MacBook Air, only to “replace them with Surfaces?” In response, Gates said that he is “part-time involved and Microsoft’s got a lot of stuff, the industry is doing a lot of cool things, and I keep my hand in that, but I won’t be full-time doing that.”