January 15, 2021

Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft board to focus on philanthropy

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is stepping down from their board to take more time on philanthropic activities.

He says he wants to focus on global health and development, education and tackling climate change.

One of the world’s richest men, Mr Gates, 65, has also left the board of Warren Buffett’s massive holding company, Berkshire Hathaway.

Mr Gates stepped down from his day-to-day role running Microsoft in 2008.

Announcing his latest move, Mr Gates said the organization would “continually be an important element of my life’s work” and he would continue to be engaged having its leadership.

But he said: “I’m looking forward to this next phase as an opportunity to maintain the friendships and partnerships which have meant probably the most if you ask me, continue steadily to subscribe to two companies which I’m incredibly proud, and effectively prioritise my commitment to addressing some of the world’s toughest challenges.”

Mr Gates is listed by Forbes as the world’s second richest man after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and is worth $103.6bn (£84.4bn).

He made his fortune developing software for the non-public computer.

As a young man, he dropped out of college and moved to Albuquerque, in New Mexico, where he create Microsoft with his childhood friend, Paul Allen, who died in 2018.

Their big break came in 1980 when Microsoft signed an agreement with IBM to build the operating-system that became called MS-DOS.

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

Mr Gates has served on Berkshire’s board since 2004 but devotes much of his time to the charitable organisation he create with his wife, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The couple were named probably the most generous philanthropists in the US in 2018 by the The Chronicle of Philanthropy, after giving $4.8bn with their foundation the prior year.

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