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World's Richest Man Turns His Focus to Philanthropy

The man who built the world's largest software company says he will slowly give up his day-to-day management role to focus more on his international charitable organization.

Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft and the world's richest man, announced Thursday he would hand over daily responsibility for the computer giant during a two-year transition period. He said, however, he would remain chairman, as well as the company's largest shareholder.

Gates co-founded and nurtured the small computer start-up company into a global force in technology. Microsoft Windows software runs an estimated 90 percent of the world's personal computers.

The 50-year-old software architect and his wife, Melinda, created the Gates Foundation, which works to tackle some of the world's greatest problems, including poverty and access to healthcare for the poor. The foundation is now the world's largest philanthropy, with assets totaling $29 billion.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Bloomberg