Jeffrey Scott "Jeff" Raikes (born May 29, 1958) is 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. [1] He joined Microsoft in 1981 as a product manager.[1] He retired from Microsoft in September 2008, after a transitional period, to join the Gates Foundation.[2] 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.


He 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.

After graduating from Stanford, instead of pursuing work at the USDA, 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.[1]

He later held roles managing North American operations, and worldwide sales, marketing and services. In 2000, he was appointed to lead Productivity and Business Services, which later became the Information Worker business at Microsoft. He was named a company president in 2005.

Raikes and his wife, Tricia Raikes (McGinnis) have three children; Michaela, Connor, and Gillian.

Raikes has a wide range of philanthropic interests. He is a major donor to the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) at Stanford University where he also established the Jeff and Tricia Raikes Undergraduate Scholarship Fund to ensure that students admitted to Stanford from rural and inner-city schools have an opportunity to attend the university. He is a trustee at the University of Nebraska Foundation, funded a professorship in agronomy, and was a designer of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln J. D. Edwards Honors Program in computer science and management. He has been active in United Way for several years. In 2006-2007, he co-chaired the annual campaign of United Way of King County with his wife, setting a national record for funds raised. On 2008-05-12 it was announced that Raikes would replace Patty Stonesifer as the chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.[3]

In 1992 the Pacific Northwest was in danger of losing the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball franchise. Raikes joined with other local business leaders to purchase the team, keeping them “safe at home” for the enjoyment of Northwest baseball fans.[4]

In June, 2008, Raikes made a donation of approximately $10 million to the University of Nebraska's JD Edwards Honors Program, which officially changed its name to the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management shortly thereafter.


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