Microsoft on Friday (local time) announced that its co-founder Bill Gates has stepped down from the company's board of directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities including global health and education.
Gates will, however, continue to serve as the technology advisor to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
"Microsoft Corp today announced that co-founder and technology advisor Bill Gates stepped down from the company's board of directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities including global health, development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change. He will continue to serve as Technology Advisor to CEO Satya Nadella and other leaders in the company," the company said in the statement.
Gates co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975. Gates was CEO of the company until 2000.
In 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
With Gates's departure, the board will consist of 12 members including John W Thompson, Microsoft independent chair, Reid Hoffman, partner at Greylock Partners, Hugh Johnston, vice chairman and chief financial officer of PepsiCo, Teri L List-Stoll, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Gap, Inc, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
Nadella said that it was a tremendous honour and privilege to have worked with Gates.
"It's been a tremendous honour and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years. Bill founded our company with a belief in the democratising force of software and a passion to solve society's most pressing challenges. And Microsoft and the world are better for it," the statement quoted him.
"The board has benefited from Bill's leadership and vision. 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 realise our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more," he said.