Gates is a leading philanthropist, and has stated that he intends to give away the majority of his vast wealth. He and his wife set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF) in 1994 with the aim of improving health and combating poverty in developing regions across the world. He has attracted considerable acclaim for the Foundation's work, including its work in combating HIV infection in Africa.
Gates finally quit day-to-day responsibility at Microsoft in June 2008 in favour of running the B&MGF after a long period of moving away from executive control, originally as CEO, then as 'Chief Software Architect'. Gates remains chairman of Microsoft.
From 1997 to 1999, he was involved in 86open helping to choose the standard binary format for Linux and Unix. In 1999, he was named to the MITTechnology ReviewTR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35.
Red Hat and VA Linux, both leading developers of Linux-based software, presented Torvalds with stock options in gratitude for his creation. In 1999, both companies went public and Torvalds' share value temporarily shot up to roughly $20 million.
His personal mascot is a penguin nicknamed Tux, which has been widely adopted by the Linux community as the mascot of the Linux kernel.