William H. Gates Iii

Microsoft CEO WILLIAM H. GATES III masterminded an amazing corporate about-face last year. Although many predicted that the Internet would sideline Microsoft's Windows software, Gates responded like a gale-force wind. He created a 2,500-person Internet division, Net-ized nearly every product, and relaunched a splashier online network. Now a major Net player, Microsoft threatens to undo rival Netscape.

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