Today, Bill Gates announced that he's stepping down from the board of directors of both Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway. Those were his only two public board of directors roles, and he'll be stepping down to focus on philanthropy. As usual, Gates is focusing on "global health, development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change."
Now 64 years old, a 19-year-old Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975. He remained CEO until early 2000, when he handed over the reigns to Steve Ballmer. Gates stayed on as Chief Software Architect, a position that hadn't previously existed, and stepped down from his day-to-day role in 2008. He remained Chairman of the Board until 2014.
"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," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
There are still 12 members of the Microsoft board of directors, including John Thompson, Reid Hoffman, Hugh Johnston, Teri List-Stoll, current CEO Satya Nadella, Sandra Peterson, Charles Scharf, Arne Sorenson, John Stanton, Padmasree Warrior, Penny Pritzker, and Emma Walmsley.