Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft has decided to step down from both the Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway boards.
The announcement was made Friday on his Linkedin account.
Gates who co-founded the Microsoft brand in 1975 with Paul Allen, says that he believes the company is in capable hands and that stepping down will allow him to focus on his philanthropic work:
“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,” Gates said. “The leadership at the Berkshire companies and Microsoft has never been stronger, so the time is right to take this step.”
While Gates says he will be stepping down from the board, he will not be stepping away from the company and will still have a say in it’s direction and vision:
“With respect to Microsoft, stepping down from the board in no way means stepping away from the company,” Gates said. “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 was CEO of the company up until 2000 when he transferred to company over to Steve Ballmer. In 2014, Microsoft’s current CEO Satya Nadella took over with Gates serving as director of the board. He then decided to dedicate more of his time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“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, Nadella said.” ” 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.”
Microsoft is considered one of the most successful companies in the world with a market cap of $1.21 trillion. Gates continues to be one of it’s top shareholders owning 1.36%