- Microsoft has announced that co-founder Bill Gates is stepping down from the company Board.
- Earlier, in 2008, Gates gave up his full-time role at Microsoft. In 2000, he stepped down from CEO's position.
- Gates will now focus on his philanthropy work and aim to find solutions for problems like climate change.
Bill Gates is finally exiting the company he co-founded in 1975. Nearly 20 years after he relinquished his post of CEO and nearly 12 years after he gave up his full-time role at Microsoft, Bill Gates is now stepping down from the company Board. This marks a formal exit for him from Microsoft, a company that made him world's richest man until a few years ago when Amazon's Jeff Bezos overtook him. Currently with nearly $110 billion in net worth, Bill Gates is world's second richest person.
Microsoft, while announcing the changes in the company Board, noted that Gates will still continue to advise Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "He will continue to serve as Technology Advisor to CEO Satya Nadella and other leaders in the company," the company said.
Microsoft said that Gates now wants to focus on his philanthropy work and on tackling bigger problems like climate change and global health.
"It's been a tremendous honour and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years... 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," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
The exit of Gates from Microsoft Board is unlikely to impact the company in any significant way. Since 2008 when the Microsoft co-founder gave up his full-time role to focus on philanthropy work, Gates has not been involved in the running of the company or its product development. After Steve Ballmer left and Satya Nadella became the CEO in 2014, Nadella has steered the company in a new direction, focussing on services, cloud and enterprise, and increasingly it has been a show run by the team that Nadella heads. Microsoft has done well under Nadella, with its stock market performance exemplary and its financials strong.
Apart from leaving Microsoft Board, Gates is also leaving the Board at Berkshire. In a linkedIn post, Gates said that now he would be "dedicating more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change."
As far as his baby, Microsoft, is concerned, he will continue to maintain a connection. "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 wrote.