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Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft board

Bill Gates, the legendary Microsoft co-founder, has announced he is stepping down from the company’s board of directors.

Gates, who remains one of the richest men, has decided to dedicate even more of his energies to his philanthropic activities.

In a post on his personal LinkedIn profile on Friday, Gates said he intends to focus on “global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change.”

In the post, Gates said he wasn’t stepping away from Microsoft completely and would still be in regular contact with current CEO Satya Nadella over the future direction of the company he still owns a small portion of.

He added: “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.”

As part of the announcement today, Gates also says he is stepping away the board at Berkshire Hathaway, the holdings company owned by Warren Buffet, another of America’s super billionaires.

Gates founded Microsoft with Paul Allen way back in 1975, at the start of the personal computing boom. He led the company as CEO until 2008, when Steve Balmer took over. Gates oversaw the building of the Microsoft empire, from MS-DOS and Windows to the launches of the Xbox gaming consoles.

He finished the post by writing: “I am looking forward to this next phase as an opportunity to maintain the friendships and partnerships that have meant the most to me, continue to contribute to two companies of which I am incredibly proud, and effectively prioritise my commitment to addressing some of the world’s toughest challenges.”

Gates has donated most of his Microsoft shareholding to fight causes near and dear to his heart, but still owns shares worth an estimated $6 billion.

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