Achievements: Programming since he was 13 years old, Gates made a name for himself in the tech industry as the founder and CEO of software giant Microsoft – eventually earning him the title of "wealthiest man in the world." He didn't just revolutionize the tech industry, he helped to create it.
Today: Gates was CEO of Microsoft until 2000, when he was succeeded by Steve Ballmer. He stepped down but didn't leave the company, becoming Microsoft's chief software architect – a role Gates created for himself. That same year Gates and his wife established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a privately-run philanthropic organization used to donate large amounts of money to global charities and scientific research. In 2004 Gates became a director for long-time friend Warren Buffett's investment company, Berkshire Hathaway. Gates remains a member of the board but in a non-executive role and continues to focus on philanthropy through his foundation.