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In many ways, Monday will be like any other day at the Redmond, Wash., headquarters of the world's largest software maker. Microsoft workers will still come to work to tackle the same array of technological and business challenges facing the company. For the first time in the company's 33-year history, however, one of those employees won't be William Henry Gates III -- better known as Bill -- at the company he founded after dropping out of Harvard. Gates' last day as a full-time employee is Friday.
Sometimes a person just needs a change!
Bill Gates, III hired the "best and brightest" when it came to lobbying for beneficial changes (to Microsoft at the expense of technical professionals) in the controversial H-1B visa law. He hired lawyer-lobbyist (and felon) Jack Abramoff in 1995. Abramoff and his team helped Microsoft to procure three changes to H-1B in 1996, 1998, and 2000. Microsoft also expended about $100 million in political expenditures between 1995 and 2000.
The benefit to Microsoft's bottom line was billions annually in reduced salary and benefit expenditures. Now, about 1/3 of Microsoft's 46,000 U.S. workforce are here on H-1B visas - with many more imported contractors. Gates crows in his annual report about the fact that there are no union employees.
These enhanced earnings were accompanied by millions of experienced American citizen technical professionals having reduced wages and worse working conditions. I know. I worked as a Microsoft contractor from 1995 to 1996 at $11.06/hour. The recent article "The Greedy Gates Immigration Gambit" provides more details. http://www.thesocialcontract.com/pdf/eighteen-one/tsc_18_1_nelson.pdf
I believe the harms of Gates's greed will be his lasting legacy.