Microsoft Founder Bill Gates Stepping Down From Company’s Board
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has decided to step down from the board of the tech giant to focus on philanthropy.
The software developer announced the news yesterday, March 13, revealing he will be stepping down from the public boards of both Microsoft and holding company Berkshire Hathaway.
After co-founding Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975, Gates stepped down from his day-to-day role running the company in 2008. He has continued to work as part of the board for the last 12 years.
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I was 13 years old when I fell in love with programming. My school had just become one of the first in the country to get a computer terminal. That introduction to computer science changed the course of my life. I recently visited a high school that hopes to do the same for its students.
Gates now wants to spend more of his time on ‘philanthropic priorities’, focusing on the likes of global health and development, and education. He also hopes to contribute more to tackling climate change.
In a statement posted on LinkedIn, Gates explained:
The leadership at the Berkshire companies and Microsoft has never been stronger, so the time is right to take this step.
Gates made clear his decision to step down from the Microsoft board ‘in no way means stepping away from the company’, explaining he will ‘continue to be engaged’ with CEO Satya Nadella and ‘the technical leadership to help shape the vision and achieve the company’s ambitious goals’.
I feel more optimistic than ever about the progress the company is making and how it can continue to benefit the world.
At Berkshire Hathaway, Gates worked alongside investor Warren Buffet, who serves as the company’s chairman and CEO. Gates described serving on the board alongside him as ‘one of the greatest honors [sic] of [his] career’, and added he and Buffet will continue to be ‘the best of friends’ even after he leaves the board.
The pair will continue to work together as co-trustees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to tackle poverty in developing countries, and as co-founders of The Giving Pledge, which sees ‘the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back’.
Gates expressed excitement for the next stage of his life, adding:
I am looking forward to this next phase as an opportunity to maintain the friendships and partnerships that have meant the most to me, continue to contribute to two companies of which I am incredibly proud, and effectively prioritize my commitment to addressing some of the world’s toughest challenges.
Gates’ co-founding of Microsoft helped him become one of the richest people on the planet, second only by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Forbes lists Gates’ worth at $103.6 billion (£84.4bn).
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