Then and Now: What Happened to the People in Microsoft’s Iconic Company Photo, 1978
In 1978, Microsoft’s founding employees gathered to take a portrait before the company moved to Washington. Front row (left to right): Bill Gates, Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood, and Paul Allen. Middle row: Bob O’Rear, Bob Greenberg, Marc McDonald, and Gordon Letwin. Back row: Steve Wood, Bob Wallace, and Jim Lane. Not pictured is Miriam Lubow.
Bill Gates founded and built Microsoft from nothing into the most valuable technology company in the world. The fortune he amassed, he’s now giving away to all sorts of good causes.
Andrea Lewis was a technical writer for Microsoft, which meant she wrote documents explaining Microsoft’s software. She left Microsoft in 1983, eventually becoming a freelance journalist and fiction writer. Thanks in part to her Microsoft options, her net worth was estimated at $2 million by the AP.
Maria Wood was a book keeper for Microsoft, and married to another one of the early Microsofties in the picture. She left the company just two years later and sued it for sexual discrimination. Microsoft settled the case.
After Bill Gates, Paul Allen is the most famous guy in the group. Allen, the other Microsoft cofounder, is the 37th richest person in the world according to Forbes. He’s the owner of the Portland Trailblazers, the Seattle Seahawks, one of the biggest yachts in the world, and much more.
Bob O’Rear was one of the oldest employees at Microsoft. He was at NASA in Mission Control when we landed on the moon. At Microsoft he was a chief mathematician, and is credited with reworking code in DOS, and getting it onto IBM PCs. He left the company in 1983, moved back to his home state of Texas, and did some cattle ranching. His worth is estimated at $100 million, and he sits on the board of a few local businesses.
Bob Greenberg left Microsoft in 1981, after helping the company develop a new version of BASIC. When he left he went on to help his family’s company, Coleco, develop the Cabbage Patch Kid dolls, which became a huge hit. More recently, he’s said to have worked on golf course software.