Bill Gates is cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Breakthrough Energy. Bill founded Microsoft in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen and led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software and services. In 2008, Bill transitioned to focus full-time on the Gates Foundation’s work to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people. As cochair, he shapes and approves foundation strategies and sets the overall direction of the organization. Through the foundation, he has spent more than 20 years working on global health and development issues including pandemic prevention; disease eradication; maternal, newborn and child health; agricultural development and water, sanitation and hygiene, among others. Through his private office, Gates Ventures, he pursues his work in Alzheimer’s research and other healthcare issues, interdisciplinary education, and technology. At Breakthrough Energy, he’s putting his experience as an innovator and problem-solver to work to address climate change by supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs, big thinkers, and clean technologies. In 2010, Bill, Melinda French Gates, and Warren Buffett founded the Giving Pledge, an effort to encourage the wealthiest families and individuals to publicly commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropic causes and charitable organizations during their lifetime or in their will.