Bill Gates' rep denies he is returning full time to Microsoft

Bill Gates has been working mostly on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the past few years. However, a new rumor that hit the Internet today claimed the co-founder and current Chairman of Microsoft is at least thinking about returning to the company on a full time basis. That story has been quickly denied by one of his representatives.

Fortune first reported on the rumor which said that the source of the story was an unnamed "prominent chief executive" who claimed that he heard that Gates is considering a return to Microsoft from someone close to Gates.

Admittedly, the story uses some pretty flimsy evidence to support it. It's also not unknown for a head of a major tech company to leave and then return. But in this case, Bill Gates returning to Microsoft is not in the cards. reports that Larry Cohen, Gates’s chief of staff, has officially denied that Gates is thinking about such a move.

It's also important to realize that while Gates may not be in in his office at Microsoft every day (he officially stopped working full time in June 2008), he still works part time at the company and still has an influence over Microsoft's business. Indeed, Gates himself admitted that he was a big supporter of Microsoft's $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype earlier this year. He stated at the time, "I was a strong proponent at the board level for the deal being done."

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