Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, instrumental for making the company one of the world's most valuable technology firms, has stepped down from the company’s board to focus on philanthropic works related to global health, education and climate change.
The billionaire and his wife Melinda run one of the world's largest charities, the Gates Foundation, which has channeled billions towards global health programs to combat disease and eradicate poverty.
Gates quit his full-time executive role at Microsoft in 2008 and remained as chairman of the board till 2014. Since then he has been a board member. But from now on, though he will remain a technology advisor to CEO Satya Nadella, his involvement with the company will be the lowest it has ever been.
In a media statement, Satya Nadella said, “It’s been a tremendous honor 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.”
With Bill stepping down, the board of Microsoft will now consist of 12 members, the company said. In addition, Gates also stepped down from the board of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, where he has served since 2004.
Bill stepping down from the board of one of the most valued technology companies shows how a successful succession planning ought to look like. As the world’s second-richest person takes a deeper dive into philanthropy and his aim to solve global health and economic problems, one can hope it will be as big as his first legacy. In this direction, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced that it would commit $100 Mn to aid global detection, isolation and treatment of the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc globally