Jeffrey Scott "Jeff" Raikes (born May 29, 1958) was the chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Until early 2008, Raikes was the President of the Microsoft Business Division and oversaw the Information Worker, Server & Tools Business and Microsoft Business Solutions Groups. He joined Microsoft in 1981 as a product manager. He retired from Microsoft in September 2008, after a transitional period, to join the Gates Foundation. Raikes is credited with driving much of Microsoft’s early work in business applications. He also held roles managing the company’s sales force and services groups.
Raikes grew up in Ashland, Nebraska, graduating from Ashland-Greenwood High School in 1976. Raikes prepared to work for the US Department of Agriculture on agricultural policy while earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering-Economics Systems (EES) from Stanford University. It was while at Stanford that Raikes had his first exposure to computing, learning Pascal on a DEC System 20. The first computer he bought was an Apple II, which he used to help his brother, Ron Raikes, manage the family farm.
He joined Apple Computer as the VisiCalc Engineering Manager in 1980. He worked at Apple for 15 months before being recruited to Microsoft by Steve Ballmer in 1981 as a product manager. He was promoted to director of Applications Marketing in 1984, and was the chief strategist behind Microsoft's investments in graphical applications for the Apple Macintosh and the Microsoft Windows operating system. In this role, he drove the product strategy and design of Microsoft Office. Raikes was promoted to vice president of Office Systems, where he was responsible for development and marketing of word processing, workgroup applications and pen computing...
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