Microsoft has disclosed that its co-founder, Bill Gates has decided to step down from his role on its Board of Directors in order to focus on his philanthropic efforts at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This is Gate’s biggest change to his role at Microsoft since stepping down as company chairman in February 2014. The philanthropist also pulled out from the board of Berkshire Hathaway.
In a press statement, Microsoft announced that its 64-year-old co-founder was leaving its board to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities.
Cheif Executive Officer, Microsoft, Satya Nadella, said, “It’s been a tremendous honor and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years. 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.”
The company explained that Gates will continue to serve as a Technology Advisor for Nadella and other executives. It is important to note that this isn’t the first time Gates has distanced himself from the company in order to focus on his philanthropy work; he first ended his day-to-day role at Microsoft in 2008 to better focus on the Foundation.
Microsoft’s independent board chair John W. Thompson expressed ‘deep appreciation’ for Gates and his time at Microsoft on behalf of the company’s Board and shareholders.
Why it matters: The Microsoft’s co-founder must have taken the decision to focus on his humanitarian services, Gates’ Foundation has been focusing on the current coronavirus outbreak.
The Foundation described the outbreak as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ pandemic and urging society to take the steps needed to slow down its impact. In a post this week, the Foundation revealed that it has joined Mastercard and Wellcome to help spur the effort to find treatments for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.