Microsoft had on Friday announced that Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft’s board, and he is also stepping down from his position on the board of Berkshire Hathaway.
In a statement posted on LinkedIn, Gates said, “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.”
“The leadership at the Berkshire companies and Microsoft has never been stronger, so the time is right to take this step,” Gates said.
“Serving on the Berkshire board has been one of the greatest honors of my career. Warren and I were the best of friends long before I joined and will be long after. I look forward to our continued partnership as co-trustees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and co-founders of The Giving Pledge,” He added.
On whether stepping down meant stepping away from the company, Gates said, “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,” he added.
In 1975 Gates co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen, who died in 2018. Gates was CEO until 2000 when Steve Ballmer took over the role. Microsoft’s current CEO, Satya Nadella, took over in 2014. Gates was director of the board at Microsoft until 2014 but began dedicating more of his time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2008.
The company went public in 1986 and is now one of the most highly valued companies in the world with a market value of $1.21 trillion and with Gates owning 1.3% of the shares.
“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 prioritize my commitment to addressing some of the world’s toughest challenges,” Gates concluded.
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