For decades Bill Gates has been synonymous with Microsoft. Even when he focused his energies on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his identity was thoroughly wrapped with Microsoft. It's a connection he can't escape: Microsoft fuels his world, and it's where he spends most of his time.

But he wants to be known for more than as just the former CEO and founder of Microsoft.

So this week Gates took some big steps towards developing a stronger and more independent personal brand. He's added a verified Twitter account that overnight and after 10 tweets gathered 280, 000 followers, reopened his Facebook account, and started a new website. Welcome to the Bill Gates brand.