Watch: Microsoft’s Bill Gates, At Age 33, Describes The Type Of People He Hires

By Mikelle Leow, 19 Mar 2019

Video screenshot via CNBC Make It.

At 33 years old, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was already the youngest billionaire in the world; he had reached the milestone at age 31.

Back in 1989, NBC’s Today Show interviewed 33-year-old Gates on what Microsoft, which had just over 4,000 employees then, was seeking in job candidates. The footage was recently picked up and reshared by CNBC’s financial advice segment, Make It.

Young Gates’ insight was truly ahead of his time. He divulged that he only prioritized two values in interviewees: enthusiasm and a willingness to make personal computers easier for everyday users. A candidate’s age was the least of Microsoft’s worries.

“We’ll hire people at any age, as long as they’re super energetic and they want to make personal computers easier to use,” he said. “But we end up hiring mostly people right out of college or business school.”

It’s not just eager souls that would have been able to secure a place in one of the pioneering companies of personal computers, though. Obviously, they had to be “smart,” but Gates stressed that they didn’t require prior experience in the industry.

“We give them a lot of training on the job… But, no, we don’t expect that they know a lot about [the work] before they get there,” he said.



Gates also had a heartening response to why Microsoft was headquartered in Seattle instead of Silicon Valley like most tech giants.

“I grew up in Seattle, so as soon as my company had over 20 people, I decided to move it back here,” he explained.

There was also the tendency of trade secrets to be exchanged if Microsoft’s headquarters were to be cooped together with the offices of rivals.

“A lot of things happen [in Silicon Valley], but the rumor mill makes it hard to keep secrets and employees switch from company to company. We’re able to keep our secrets and, you know, be really on our own.”

[via Digg, video and cover image via CNBC Make It.]
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