Bill Gates leaves Microsoft's board of directors, will focus on philanthropic efforts

Microsoft logo
Microsoft logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Bill Gates has stepped down from Microsoft's board of directors.
  • Gates plans to focus more time on his philanthropic efforts.
  • Gates will continue to serve as a Technical Advisor to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft announced that the company's co-founder and former CEO is steapping down from its board of directors. Gates will now dedicated more time to "his philanthropic priorities including global health, development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change," Microsoft said. Gates will also continue to serve as a Technical Advisor to current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

"With respect to Microsoft, stepping down from the board in no way means stepping away from the company," Gates said in a LinkedIn post announcing he is stepping down from his board positions at both Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway. "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."

Speaking on the move, 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 founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975, and he served as CEO until 2000, leaving the reins to Steve Ballmer. Gates continued to serve as chairman of Microsoft's board until 2014 — the same year Nadella took over the CEO role.

Over the years, Gates has continued to focus more on his philanthropic efforts throught the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl