Microsoft Corp. said that Chairman Bill Gates will step down from his role as chief software architect, tabbing CTO Ray Ozzie as his immediate successor.
Ozzie will assume the title of chief software architect and will work with Gates on technical and product responsibilities until Gates completes his day-to-day duties in July 2008.
Gates, who is leaving to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will continue to serve as the company's chairman and an advisor on development projects after July 2008.
CTO Craig Mundie will immediately take the new title of chief research and strategy officer and will work with Gates to assume his responsibility for the company's research and incubation efforts.
Mundie also will partner with general counsel Brad Smith to determine Microsoft's intellectual property and technology policies.
"Our business and technical leadership has never been stronger, and Microsoft is well-positioned for success in the years ahead," Gates said in a statement.
"I feel very fortunate to have such great technical leaders like Ray and Craig at the company."
Ozzie and Mundie will continue to report to Gates, but will eventually report to Ballmer in the next two years.