Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft board

Microsoft on Friday announced that co-founder and Technology Advisor Bill Gates has 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 statement said.

On June 27, 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He served as Microsoft’s chairman of the board until February 4, 2014, it said.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “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,” Nadella said.

“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,” he added.

“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 Satya Nadella.

John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent board chair said, “On behalf of our shareholders and the Board, I want to express my deep appreciation to Bill for all his contributions to Microsoft. As a member of the Board, he challenged us to think big and then think even bigger. He leaves an enduring legacy of curiosity and insight that serves as an inspiration for us all.”

With Gates’ departure, the Microsoft’s board will now consist of 12 members.