Bill Gates is stepping down from the boards of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to focus on his work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Microsoft co-founder announced in a LinkedIn post on Friday.
“I have decided to step down from both of the public boards on which I serve — Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway — to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities,” Gates wrote. “The leadership at the Berkshire companies and Microsoft has never been stronger, so the time is right to take this step.”
The announcement comes a month after Gates vowed to be more engaged in tackling climate change when the Gates Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary in February. Gates reiterated that commitment in his announcement.
The foundation has also been actively fighting the coronavirus pandemic and pledged $100 million last month to that effort. Part of that funding was dedicated to providing at-home coronavirus test kits to those at risk of infection in the Seattle area, where the foundation is headquartered.
Gates has not worked at Microsoft full time since 2008 when he stepped away to focus on his foundation. He stepped down as chairman of the board six years ago when Microsoft’s current CEO Satya Nadella was appointed to the role. On Friday, Gates said he would continue to serve as an adviser to Nadella.
“Concerning 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,” Gates wrote.
“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,” Nadella said in a statement. “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.“