The co-founder leaves to focus on philanthropic efforts.
Microsoft on Friday said that co-founder and technology adviser Bill Gates has departed the company's board of directors. Gates left in order to "dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities including global health, development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change," according to a release. He'll remain a technology adviser to CEO Satya Nadella, as well as other Microsoft leaders.
Gates stepped away from his day-to-day role at Microsoft in 2008 in order to focus his efforts on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He was chairman of the board at Microsoft until February 2014.
"It's been a tremendous honor and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years," Nadella said in a statement. "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."
Microsoft's board will now consist of 12 members.
In a blog post, Gates said: "Stepping down from the board in no way means stepping away from the company. 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."