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Bill Gates to Leave Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway’s Boards

By Anne Chou
Bill Gates
Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com

Bill Gates is stepping down from Microsoft’s board of directors to focus on his philanthropic efforts, the company announced on Friday. Gates is also leaving the board of Berkshire Hathaway.

"It's been a tremendous honor and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “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."

Gates will continue to serve as a technology advisor to Nadella and other Microsoft leaders, according to the company.

Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen, and built it into the world’s largest software maker. He served as CEO until 2000, when he handed the reins over to Steve Ballmer. Gates remained active in the company as chairman, and in 2000, he started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2008, he transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his work at the foundation. Gates stepped down as chairman in 2014 when Nadella was named Microsoft’s CEO, and remained as a board member and technology adviser to the company.

In this landmark moment for Gates, he wrote in a LinkedIn blog post that, “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.”

Regarding his time serving on Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway board, Gates said, “Serving on the Berkshire board has been one of the greatest honors 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.”

Separately, in an SEC filing, Berkshire Hathaway said that former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault has been nominated to its board, replacing Gates who served on Berkshire’s board since 2004. At the same time, Chenault is vacating his board seat at Facebook where has served since 2018.

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