Bill Gates Leaves Microsoft and Berkshire Boards
Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft's board, 45 years after co-founding the company with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Gates also announced that he is stepping down from the board of Berkshire Hathaway, led by his friend and philanthropic partner Warren Buffett.
Gates, 64, wrote in a post on LinkedIn that he is leaving the boards "to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change. The leadership at the Berkshire companies and Microsoft has never been stronger, so the time is right to take this step."
However, he hasn't severed his ties with Microsoft completely. The company says Gates will continue to serve as a technology adviser to CEO Satya Nadella and other Microsoft leaders.
Microsoft "will continue to benefit from Bill's ongoing technical passion and advice to drive our products and services forward," Nadella said in a statement, crediting Gates for founding the company "with a belief in the democratizing force of software and a passion to solve society's most pressing challenges."
Shares of Microsoft are down 3 percent in after-hours trading, following the announcement.
Gates is still closely associated with the company in the mind of the public, but in reality he has been gradually unwinding his connections to Microsoft as he has shifted his focus to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and his Gates Ventures private office.
"With respect to Microsoft, stepping down from the board in no way means stepping away from the company," he wrote in his post. "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."
Today's announcement comes 20 years after Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO, after a bruising antitrust battle with U.S. regulators battered his reputation and left the company struggling to compete with a new generation of technology giants. Gates continued working at the company until 2008, when he left his day-to-day duties as chief software architect.
He remained Microsoft chairman until 2014 and had been on the board since then.
In the meantime, both Microsoft and Gates have experienced a renaissance. The company has risen back into the ranks of the world's most valuable companies. Gates has emerged as an outspoken leader in global health and science, sounding the alarm over the potential for a devastating pandemic and helping to fund potential solutions many years before the current spread of the novel coronavirus and the disease COVID-19.
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
Every year has defining moments, but no one could have predicted the world changing and paradigm shifting developments that have taken place over the course of the past year. They include combatting COVID-19, working from home, waves of social unrest, emerging technologies and more.
Join us Wednesday, December 16th at 11:00 a.m. PT for the closing dot.LA Strategy Session of the year as we reflect on L.A.'s emerging tech trends, challenges and predictions for 2021.
Upfront Managing Partner Mark Suster and dot.LA Senior Finance Reporter Ben Bergman will kick off the event with a one on one conversation. More speakers to be announced.
Mark Suster, Managing Partner at Upfront
Mark Suster, Managing Partner at Upfront<p><br>Mark Suster has been a managing partner at Upfront since 2007, where has led notable investments in companies including Bird, Invoca, Density, Nanit, and Maker Studios (acquired by Disney). He previously was the founder & CEO of two successful enterprise software companies, the most recent of which was sold to Salesforce.com, where Mark became VP of products. Prior to being a founder, Mark was a software developer at Accenture while living and worked in Europe, Japan and the U.S. Mark is a graduate of UCSD and has an MBA from the University of Chicago.</p>
Ben Bergman, dot.LA Senior Reporter
Ben Bergman, dot.LA Senior Reporter<p>Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior reporter/host at KPCC, a producer at Gimlet Media and NPR and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times. Bergman was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. He enjoys skiing, playing poker and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.</p>
- Investing in Uncertain Times: How VCs and COVID-19 - dot.LA ›
- Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures on VC's Primary Job - dot.LA ›
- Why NYC and SF Tech Workers are Moving to LA - dot.LA ›
- Los Angeles' Tech and Startup Scene is Growing. - dot.LA ›
Virgin Orbit announced plans for its second attempt to shoot its LauncherOne rocket into orbit on Dec. 19 carrying with it small NASA research satellites. The first attempt failed in May after a propellant line ruptured after the first-stage ignition.
The Richard Branson-founded company said it's run a list of tests and upgraded various systems in advance of next month's launch.
On this week's episode of Just Go Grind, hear from Melanie Stricklan, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Slingshot Aerospace, a company that builds situational awareness technology to bring clarity to complex environments in order to create a safer world.
- Slingshot Aerospace's Melanie Stricklan on 'Female Founders Stories' ›
- Slingshot Aerospace, The Third Floor Work with Space Force - dot.LA ›