NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates will be awarded an honorary knighthood by Britain's Queen Elizabeth for an outstanding contribution to enterprise, officials said Monday.
Gates, the world's wealthiest man, will receive the award from the queen at Buckingham Palace, but no date has been set.
"(Gates) is one of the most important business leaders of his age," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said in a statement.
"Microsoft technology has transformed business practices and his company has had a profound impact on the British economy," Straw added.
Gates will be made a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an honor that dates back to 1917.
But only British and Commonwealth citizens winning the honor are entitled to add Sir in front of their names.
Non-British citizens also don't have to travel to Buckingham palace to pick up their awards, they can pick them up in British embassies, according to Reuters.
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own
alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.
Or, visit Popular Alerts
Other business personalities awarded knighthood include IBM Chairman Lou Gerstner, oil tycoon John Paul Getty, Texas Instruments co-founder Cecil Green and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Reuters reported.
Other people from outside the business world who have had the honor bestowed on them include film director Steven Spielberg, former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani and retired general and Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, according to nationmaster.com.
--from staff and wire reports