Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Paul Allen, the man who teamed up with Bill Gates to help create Microsoft back in 1975 has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the body’s lymphatic system.
56-year-old Allen is already a survivor of Hodgkin’s disease, which he overcame twenty five years ago. The news emerged after a memo was sent on Monday to employees of Vulcan Inc, Allen’s investment company. The memo was from Vulcan’s CEO Jody Allen (Paul Allen’s sister), and was also released to the press.
“I want to let you know that Paul was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said the memo. “He received the diagnosis early this month and has begun chemotherapy. Doctors say he has diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a relatively common form of lymphoma.”
“This is tough news for Paul and the family. But for those who know Paul’s story, you know he beat Hodgkin’s a little more than 25 years ago and he is optimistic he can beat this, too,” said the memo.
According to the National Cancer Institute, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a five-year survival rate of about 67.2 percent.
“Paul is feeling OK and remains upbeat. He continues to work and he has no plans to change his role at Vulcan. His health comes first, though, and we’ll be sure that nothing intrudes on that,” added the memo.
Allen dropped out of university and founded Microsoft with his high school friend, Bill Gates. He served as the company’s executive vice-president of research and new product development until 1983, when he left for health reasons.
However Allen has remained a major shareholder and member of the board, and now has a net worth of about $10.5 billion (£6.3 bilion). Forbes magazine has ranked him as the world’s 32nd richest person.
Like Gates, Allen has gone on to invest widely in technology, property, sports and the arts.
Question marks over the health of executives is nothing new. Earlier this year Apple’s then-chief executive Steve Jobs battled his own health problems. Jobs only returned to work in June after a lengthly medical leave that included a liver transplant.