In an announcement on Friday, Microsoft revealed one of the biggest changes in the history of the company. Bill Gates, the co-founder of the company, is leaving the board of directors. His place on the board, which he held for exactly 44 years to the day, was his last remaining official position with the company, after having stepped down as CEO in 2000, and chairman of the board in 2014.
This is a monumental day for the company, as it represents the first time that none of the early team members are actively involved. Paul Allen, the other co-founder, who died in 2018, had left the board of directors in 2000.
While he won't be involved in the company on an active basis, He will remain as a Technology Advisor to current CEO Satya Nadella and other executives for the foreseeable future. Nadella said in the statement,
It's been a tremendous honor and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years. 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. 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. 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.
The transition is in order to help further the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the organization that he created with his wife to work on global issues. Currently, the company is focused on finding ways to help with the treatment and effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus. They have also put resources behind initiatives like malaria prevention, clean water initiatives, and more.