San Francisco, United States:
Microsoft announced on Friday that co-founder Bill Gates has left his board of directors to spend more time on philanthropy.
The 64-year-old was no longer in the company's day-to-day business more than a decade ago and turned to the foundation that he and his wife Melinda had established.
Gates was Chairman of the Microsoft Board of Directors until early 2014 and has now stepped down completely, according to the technology giant based in Redmond.
"It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years," said Satya Nadella, CEO and veteran of the company, in a press release.
"Bill founded our company with a belief in the democratizing power of software and a passion to solve the most pressing challenges facing society. Microsoft and the world are better at it."
Nadella said Microsoft will continue to benefit from Gates’ "technical passion and advice" in its continued role as a technical advisor.
"I am grateful for Bill's friendship and look forward to continuing to work with him," said Nadella.
– computing and compassion –
Gates left his position as CEO in 2000 and handed the management of Steve Ballmer over to spend more time on his charitable foundation.
At the same time, he gave up the role of chairman when Nadella became Microsoft's third CEO in 2014.
William H. Gates, who is regularly one of the richest people in the world, was a geeky-looking young man when he founded Microsoft together with Paul Allen in 1975.
Gates grew up in Seattle with two sisters. His father William was a lawyer and his late mother Mary was a teacher and chair of United Way International.
As a 13-year-old student, he started programming computers and fell in love with the machines.
One of the stories told about Gates is that while he was working on school computers, he fiddled with programming to put himself into classes that were mostly girls.
With the blessings of his parents, Gates left Harvard to start "Micro-soft" with his boyfriend Allen from late childhood.
An important step was to focus on licensing software to computer manufacturers in numerous "partnerships" that resulted in affordable machines being available to the masses.
As the PC market grew, Microsoft became the world's leading software company. The virtual monopoly led to a widely published antitrust lawsuit in which the company managed to avert a separation, but which had to endure years of state surveillance.
Gates turned his software attention to fighting disease and other humanitarian challenges with his wife under the auspices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"This move is not surprising for the street, as Gates has focused more and more on his countless philanthropies around the world over the past decade," Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a statement to investors.
"Gates is a historical figure in the technology world and his legacy at Microsoft will be felt in Redmond in the coming decades."
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)