The reality of Mr. Gates’s status at the company is a bit more
nuanced. According to a person with knowledge of board
discussions, who asked to remain anonymous because that dialog is
private, Mr. Gates is willing to dial up or down his involvement
with Microsoft based on the wishes of the new chief.
If the new chief executive wants Mr. Gates, a co-founder of
Microsoft and one of the founding fathers of the tech industry, to
chime in more often on company matters, Mr. Gates will do it, this
person said. If the new chief executive wants Mr. Gates doing less
around Microsoft, Mr. Gates will respect that, too.