Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates announced today that he is stepping down from the two Board of Director seats he holds, one on Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, and Microsoft. Gates made the announcement in a LinkedIn post, and Microsoft has also announced the change in the Board in a press release.
Gates says that he is stepping down from Microsoft, not stepping away:
With respect to Microsoft, stepping down from the board in no way means stepping away from the company. Microsoft will always be an important part of my life’s work and I will continue to be engaged with Satya 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.
Gates led his company until 2008, when he turned over the CEO position to Steve Ballmer, but continued as Chairman of the Board and worked part time with the company. In 2014, Gates relinquished his Chairman seat but remained on the Board.
Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said:
It’s been a tremendous honor 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. And Microsoft and the world are better for it. 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. 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.
Gates and his wife Melinda have been active in their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where Gates plans to devote more time and energy to “philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change.”