The subtleties of Bill Gates’ next move

Interesting take on the politics involved in Bill Gates potentially stepping down as Chairman of the Microsoft Board.

Perhaps more significantly, having Gates in the chair seat also maintains some of the dysfunction clearly present in the board, due to his history at Microsoft, his massive wealth from his ownership of the company and — for lack of a better way to say it — the Bill Gates of it all.

That dynamic combined with the continued presence of outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer on the board — who may remain in the short term, but seems set to go when his latest term is up — obviously has to change.

Thus, a new chairman with a power base away from Microsoft’s origins, while moving Gates to a much more productive role seems like a pretty good idea to many.

Add to all this the huge benefit of Gates becoming Nadella’s wingman.

It’s also clear that Nadella will need Gates around to solidify himself with other leaders at Microsoft and to get them on board and into line. And, given Nadella’s nice-guy-but-not-inspiring rep — I have heard him called the “safe bet” and “conventional choice” about 275 times this week — having Gates standing solidly next to him is a must.

Because while some inside say Gates is now out of touch with the fast-moving trends of tech, he still maintains a status among the troops of Microsoft that is, if not god-like, pretty emotionally gripping.

Thoughtful, insightful conjecture. Sounds right to me.