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Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft's board of directors

Bill Gates is taking another step back from the company he left Harvard to co-found 45 years ago. Microsoft announced on Friday that Gates is stepping down from the company's board of directors to focus on his philanthropic endeavors. 

Gates wants to spend more time dedicated to tackling global health, development, education, and climate change, according to a company statement. He will continue to serve as technology advisor to CEO Satya Nadella. 

Nadella said that it has been "a tremendous honor and privilege" to work with Gates. 

"Bill founded our company with a belief in the democratizing force of software and a passion to solve society's most pressing challenges. And Microsoft and the world are better for it," he said. "The board has benefited from Bill's leadership and vision. And Microsoft will continue to benefit from Bill's ongoing technical passion and advice to drive our products and services forward."

Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen. He stepped away from a daily role at the company in 2008 to dedicate more time to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he and his wife formed in 2000.  

Through his foundation, Gates has been working with researchers to develop treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics for the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator aims to "identify potential treatments for COVID-19, accelerate their development, and prepare for the manufacture of millions of doses for use worldwide," according to the organization.  

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