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Microsoft issued a press release that read:
"Microsoft Corp. today announced that Co-Founder and Technology Advisor Bill Gates stepped down from the company's Board of Directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities including global health, development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change. He will continue to serve as Technology Advisor to CEO Satya Nadella and other leaders in the company.
On June 27, 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He served as Microsoft's chairman of the board until February 4, 2014."
"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," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Gates owns 1.36 percent of Microsoft's shares. It is among the world's largest companies with a market cap of $1.21 trillion.