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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates took to the Bloomberg airwaves today to discuss his 2014 annual letter — a letter in which he starts by saying the “world is better than it has ever been.” That optimism shines through in the letter. But can the same optimism be applied to the company that Gates started in 1975?

Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg
Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg

The Seattle billionaire seemed a bit uncomfortable when answering questions about the search for the new CEO, a search that has now stretched into its fifth month. Bloomberg TV’s Betty Liu asked Gates whether he was involved in the search, and whether he might consider returning to the helm, something that CEO Marc Benioff and others have championed.

“The board is doing important work right now,” said Gates. “The foundation is the biggest part of my time. I put in part-time work to help as a board member. My full-time work will be the foundation for the rest of my life…. My wife Melinda and I are enjoying that…  I am not going to change that. I will help out part time.”

Asked whether there was a sense or urgency, Gates responded that the board will move a the “right pace.” He also stressed the importance of picking the right person, though he didn’t give any updates on the process.

Meanwhile, here’s Gates — along with Michael Bloomberg — talking about their optimism in wiping out poverty, interview questions that the software titan obviously felt more comfortable tackling.

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