Legendary tech guru and Microsoft’s co-founder, Bill Gates is stepping down as a member of Microsoft’s board of directors. He’s also stepping down from his board position at Berkshire Hathaway, a company run by his long-time friend and fellow billionaire Warren Buffet.
Bill Gates has decided to dedicate more of his time to humanitarian efforts. On March 13, Gates published a statement on LinkedIn saying, “I have made the decision to step down from both of the public boards on which I serve – Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway – to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change.”
Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975. The company grew from a small setup to the trillion-dollar mega-corporation it is today. Gates served as Microsoft’s CEO until 2000 when he stepped down from that position. By 2008, Gates shifted from doing day-to-day activities at Microsoft, leaving his full-time job at the company. In 2014, Gates left his position as Microsoft’s chairman and took up the role of “Technology Advisor” to then-new CEO Satya Nadella.
In a statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella remarked, “It’s been a tremendous honour and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years. Bill founded our company with a belief in the democratizing force of software and a passion to solve society’s most pressing challenges.”
He went on to say, “The board has benefited from Bill’s leadership and vision. And Microsoft will continue to benefit from Bill’s ongoing technical passion and advice to drive our products and services forward.“
His departure from both Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway board of directors comes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gates has devoted much of his post-Microsoft CEO life to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation has focused on key areas such as health and education.
Recently, the foundation teamed up with Mastercard and Wellcome to allocate up to a total of US$125 million for COVOD-19 research and development. The group’s “COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator” aims to find new drugs (and repurpose others) that can treat those with the novel coronavirus.
Gates’ philanthropic efforts may consume the bulk of his time, but he will not sever ties with Microsoft.
Bill Gates will continue to work with Satya and his team as they continue to develop software and hardware.