Bill Gates said he reached the decision "to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change."

By Ian Horswill


Posted on March 14, 2020

Bill Gates will always be remembered for co-founding Microsoft in April 1975, which is a word as common as milk in today’s society.

The 64-year-old Bill Gates took to his LinkedIn page today (March 14) to announce he had decided to step down from the boards of the multinational technology company Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway, led by his long-time friend Warren Buffett.

Gates said he reached the decision “to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change.” The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave a US$5 billion grant to pharmaceutical company Inovio Pharmaceuticals to speed up to scale up testing and production of a portable device to deliver a DNA-based coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine only 48 hours earlier.

Bill gates, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway

“Serving on the Berkshire board has been one of the greatest honours of my career. Warren and I were the best of friends long before I joined and will be long after. I look forward to our continued partnership as co-trustees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and co-founders of The Giving Pledge,” Bill Gates wrote.

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Microsoft is now a trillion-dollar company under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella and has gone from strength to strength under his reins. Despite leaving his full-time position in Microsoft in 2008 to devote more attention to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates has continued to show his passion for Microsoft as a director. Gates holds 1.3% of Microsoft shares, valued at about US$16 billion.

Bill Gates, Satya Nadella

“With respect to 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. I feel more optimistic than ever about the progress the company is making and how it can continue to benefit the world,” Gates shared on LinkedIn.

Bill Gates is listed by Forbes as the world’s second richest man after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and is worth US$103.6 billion.

Gates established Microsoft with his childhood friend, Paul Allen, who died in 2018. Their big break came when Microsoft agreed with IBM to build an operating system, known as MS-DOS, in 1980.

Microsoft went public in 1986 and within a year Bill Gates, at 31, had become the youngest self-made billionaire.