Bill Gates kept tab on employees by memorising their license plates

London: Reminiscing his earlier work-days, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates made an interesting revelation about his management style saying that he used to memorise the license plates of his employees in order to monitor their work
bill gates kept tab on employees by memorising...
India TV Business Desk February 03, 2016 8:30 IST

London: Reminiscing his earlier work-days, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates made an interesting revelation about his management style saying that he used to memorise the license plates of his employees in order to monitor their work hours.

Gates opened up in an interview to BBC Radio about his work-style in the early years of Microsoft. “I worked weekends, I didn't really believe in vacations.” Gates, who is also the co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said in the interview. 

"I had to be a little careful not to try and apply my standards to how hard (others at the company) worked. I knew everybody's licence plate so I could look out the parking lot and see, you know, when people come in," he said. 

"Eventually I had to loosen up as the company got to a reasonable size," he added.

Gates dropped out of Harvard at the age of 19 to start Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975. He stepped down as the CEO of the software giant in 2000 and as the company's chairman in 2014. 

Asked if he was ruthless in business, Gates said, "No, only if you define having super-low prices as ruthless. It's hard to compete with somebody who's betting on the volume and saying, 'Hey, we're going to have. These super-low prices.' That's very intimidating and in that sense, yes we were aggressive." 

In the candid conversation, Gates also talked about fixing the school scheduling software with Paul to ensure he was the only boy in classes of girls.

"Paul did the computer scheduling with me. Unfortunately for him, he was two years ahead of me and he was off to college by then. So I was the one who benefited by being able to have the nice girls at least sit near me. It wasn't that I could talk to them or anything - but they were there," Gates said. 

"I think I was particularly inept at talking to girls, or thinking, 'OK -- do you ask them out, do you not?' When I went off to Harvard I was a little bit more sociable. But I was below average on talking to girls," he said. 

Gates also spoke about his relationship with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. 

"Steve really is a singular person in the history of personal computing in terms of what he built at Apple. For some periods, we were completely allies working together - I wrote software for the original Apple II. Sometimes he would be very tough on you, sometimes he'd be very encouraging. He got really great work out of people," Gates said of Jobs.

(With PTI inputs)

Related Tags: Bill GatesMicrosoft
 
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