Bill Gates has announced he will stand down from the public board of Microsoft, the company he founded in 1975.
He will also step down from the board of Berkshire Hathaway.
Mr Gates’ resignation will allow him to focus more on his philanthropy efforts.
The world’s second richest man made the announcement in a statement posted to LinkedIn.
“I have made the decision to step down from both of the public boards on which I serve – Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway – to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change.
“The leadership at the Berkshire companies and Microsoft has never been stronger, so the time is right to take this step.
“Serving on the Berkshire board has been one of the greatest honours of my career.
“Warren and I were the best of friends long before I joined and will be long after. I look forward to our continued partnership as co-trustees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and co-founders of The Giving Pledge.
“With respect to Microsoft, 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. I feel more optimistic than ever about the progress the company is making and how it can continue to benefit the world.
“I am looking forward to this next phase as an opportunity to maintain the friendships and partnerships that have meant the most to me, continue to contribute to two companies of which I am incredibly proud, and effectively prioritise my commitment to addressing some of the world’s toughest challenges.”
Mr Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000.
Mr Gates, 64, has an estimated wealth of A$180 billion.
In recent years Mr Gates has dedicated much of his efforts on getting the world prepared for a flu pandemic.