Raikes, who earlier this year announced plans to leave Microsoft in September, will take over for former Microsoft executive and current Gates Foundation CEO Patty Stonesifer, who will remain with the organization in an as-yet undefined role.
A Microsoft employee for more than 20 years, Raikes has been heavily involved in defining Microsoft's Information Worker business as well as the software giant's push into the productivity applications space. More recently, Raikes, along with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, has been talking up the benefits of unified communications.
Raikes and his wife have their own philanthropic organization, the Raikes Foundation, which focuses on youth development, education, and critical community projects, and also makes direct grants to nonprofit organizations.
Based in Seattle, the Gates Foundation has $37.3 billion endowment, including about $30 billion from Berkshire Hathaway chairman and Bill Gates friend and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett. The organization has more than 500 employees working on public health, agriculture, and financial services projects in the U.S. and abroad.
In January 2007, the Gates Foundation announced it would review its investments after a Los Angeles Times investigation found that some of the organization's holdings were in companies accused of unethical practices, including chemical, pharmaceutical, and oil firms.
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