Does Bill Gates Miss Being an Operator?

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Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg Businessweek's Brad Stone discusses the role of Bill Gates on Microsoft's board with Jon Erlichman on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

He is focused but with a new purpose.

Bill gates is all in at the foundation.

He is so devoted.

When i showed up at his seattle headquarters, he was in a meeting with polio researchers and scientists, 30 people in the room surrounding him.

We spoke afterwards outside his office and what struck me is the range of his interests, not just polio eradication but malaria and education in the united states and climate change.

He has a voracious appetite for understanding the world's problems.

You also asked him if he missed being an operator.

He seemed to imply there's plenty of room on the playing field for everybody.

From our perch, the business narrative seems like the most important narrative but when you take a step back, he is trying to save the 2 billion most impoverished people in the world and millions of children's lives.

I take him at his word that he's got $68 billion and he is devoted to solving some real problems.

I think he made the point of saying he is on the board of microsoft.

What is it that he does in that board role?

Does he lecture steve ballmer from time to time?

Not really, gates and blal mer have been working together since they were in college.

Bill gates has supported their reorganization and other issues.

Steve ballmer has consolidated power.

It is clear that gates and ballmer are aligned and have been a wild.

Do you get the sense that when it comes to the bill gates legacy that he would like people to remember him more for the work tied to malaria or changing the education system in the u.s. or as the guy who created microsoft and changed the software world or both?

He devotes more energy to understanding things than being understood.

If you look at his website, the gates notes, he has a reading list and reviews looks and he is an incredible reader.

There are no business books -- it is about climate change in education and health problems.

He is so single-minded, i think he gives very little thought to the legacy question.

It seems like he gives a little thought to the competitors because you asked him about the google.

He said if you are a sick child with malaria, probably having an internet question is not the most important thing.

Google thinks this can solve other problems.

He paused and he debated what he would say and then he made that comment that if you are a child with malaria in africa, the internet access a little will not help you.

He went on to say a few critical things.

He is just resentful that google gets great pr for their philanthropic initiatives.

You covered jeff days those in great need to and you know all the characters in silicon valley.

What to they think of what bill gates has done and how his career has changed?

Everyone probably looks up to bill gates as an incredible full after post and someone -- they are all competitive and he is setting an incredible model for philanthropy.

I'm sure they admired him and are also a little scared that he is setting an unobtainable goal.

It is a great hue and day.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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