Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft’s board
Published: 02:00 PM, 14 March 2020 Updated: 12:32 AM, 30 March 2020
Bill Gates; file photo
Microsoft Corporation's Co-Founder and Technology Advisor Bill Gates stepped down from the company’s Board of Directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities including global health, development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change.
One of the world's richest men, Mr Gates, 65, has also left the board of Warren Buffett's massive holding company, Berkshire Hathaway. He has been continuing philanthropic work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
However he will continue with Microsoft as the Technology Advisor to CEO Satya Nadella and other leaders in the company.
On June 27, 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He served as Microsoft’s chairman of the board until February 4, 2014.
Gates explained the move on Friday in a brief LinkedIn post, in which he also said he was leaving the board of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate led by his longtime friend Warren Buffett. The reason for these departures, Gates wrote, was “to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change.” Coming as Gates joined the epic battle against Covid-19, the timing seems particularly apt.
Announcing his latest move, Mr Gates said the company would "always be an important part of my life's work" and he would continue to be engaged with its leadership.
"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 prioritise my commitment to addressing some of the world's toughest challenges," he added.
"Microsoft will continue to benefit from Bill’s ongoing technical passion and advice to drive our products and services forward. I am grateful for Bill’s friendship and look forward to continuing to work alongside him to realize our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Gates’ departure is even less of a surprise in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. In 2018, Gates, whose family foundation is focused in large part on healthcare, warned that the world wasn’t prepared for a pandemic, and that this “should concern us all.” Just this week, the Gates Foundation announced it is working on a plan to deliver coronavirus test kits to Seattle homes, near Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, in coordination with Amazon Care.
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