REDMOND, Wash., June 1, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Nathan Myhrvold, chief technology officer for the company, will be taking a leave of absence beginning July 1. Myhrvold, who joined the company in 1986, will be taking time off to turn his attention to scientific pursuits and enjoy his family.
“Nathan has been an invaluable contributor to Microsoft, the technology industry and to me personally over the past 13 years,”
said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO, Microsoft.
“Frankly, I would rather he continue his work at Microsoft, but I support his decision to take a much needed break and explore his passion for science. Nathan has been involved in many aspects of product strategy and technology development, and he was instrumental in convincing the company to establish a research laboratory. Nathan’s personal commitment and vision enabled him to build Microsoft Research into one of the world’s premier computer science research institutions. I’ll draw on Nathan’s expertise from time to time while he is on leave and look forward to his return.”
“I have the best job in the world – combining technology, strategy and business – in the most exciting industry and company in the world, which makes it difficult to do anything else,”
“Working directly with Bill Gates has been an incredible experience. The only drawback is trying to fit my broad range of interests into very little spare time. As great as Microsoft has been for me, it’s the right stage in my life to address some other interests.”
Among other projects, Myhrvold will join in an expedition this summer to hunt for dinosaur remains in eastern Montana; he will also participate in ongoing dinosaur research with Philip Currie of the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, Canada. Physics and mathematical biology are also active research interests that he will pursue with leading experts.
“I won’t neglect business and technology – they are in my blood at this stage,”
“I will consult for Bill on strategy issues and attend to personal investments. I’m also going to spend some time just goofing off – traveling with my family and catching up on my reading.”
Rick Rashid, who was recruited by Myhrvold in 1991 to start Microsoft Research, will continue as vice president of research and remain in charge of all basic research activities at Microsoft.
“When I first met Nathan and Bill, I was impressed by their commitment to building a great research lab. Eight years later, that dream is now a reality, and our commitment to research has never been stronger,”
“I’ve been impressed by the impact Microsoft Research has had on our products in its brief history,”
“Recent breakthroughs like the ClearType font technology and improved compression techniques in Microsoft® Windows Media TM Technologies 4.0 mean that we can deliver better products for our customers.”
Myhrvold joined Microsoft in 1986 as director of special projects, when it acquired Dynamical Systems Research, a company he founded. He served as an adviser to Gates and played an important role in many projects, including the development of the Microsoft Windows® , Windows NT® and Windows CE operating systems. In 1991, Myhrvold founded Microsoft Research, an organization that has grown to include many of the world’s leading researchers in computer science and related fields. Before taking over as chief technology officer in 1996, Myhrvold was group vice president in the company’s Applications and Content Group and was a key contributor to Microsoft’s early online and consumer efforts.
Founded in 1991, Microsoft Research is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. The goal is to develop new technologies that simplify and enhance the user’s PC experience, reduce the cost of writing and maintaining software, and facilitate the creation of new types of software. Microsoft Research started with a handful of researchers, and the organization has grown steadily to include nearly 400 top computer scientists and engineers.
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