For decades, Bill Gates and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) were synonymous. Even when he left Microsoft to focus more on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his outside identity was 99 percent wrapped up in the company he co-founded. He can’t escape the connection — and why should he? Microsoft money fuels his world where ever he spends most of his time. But Gates wants to be known for more than Windows and as more than a former CEO.
This week, Gates has taken some major steps toward his own brand: adding a verified Twitter account (@BillGates) that overnight has more than 237,000 followers, reopening his Facebook account and starting his own website, the Gates Notes. He’s already retweeted a couple of times and tweeted a few messages of his own, encouraging aid to Haiti, replying to @aplusk and @RyanSeacreast — and introducing that new site. Welcome to Bill Gates the brand.