According to Gates, he will now focus on philanthropy, global health, development, education and tackling climate change.
Gates, 65 who co-founded Microsoft Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen, who died in 2018, has now grown the company over the last 30 years to one of the world’s richest companies.
Gates also announced he had left the board of Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway.
Bill Gates was CEO of Microsoft until 2000 when Steve Ballmer took over the role and has held a not too active role since 2008.
“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,” Gates said on LinkedIn on Friday.
“The leadership at the Berkshire companies and Microsoft has never been stronger, so the time is right to take this step.”
Announcing the move, Mr. Gates said the company would “always be an important part of my life’s work” and he would continue to be engaged with its leadership.
“With respect to Microsoft, stepping down from the board in no way means stepping away from the company,” Gates said. “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.”
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads fear of a recession, the stock market’s rise under the Republican president, a major part of his case for reelection in November, is now less than half of the gain of his predecessor and rival Barack Obama at the same point in his presidency.
At its peak on Feb. 19, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 58% from when Trump unexpectedly beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in November 2016. As of Thursday, Trump’s stock market was up just 17%. The S&P 500 gained 41% in same number of days after Obama was elected president in 2008.
Measuring from Trump’s inauguration on Jan 20, 2017, the S&P 500 is now up less than 10%, compared to a gain of 70% under Obama during the same span of his first term.
Trump, who has repeatedly boasted on Twitter and to reporters of the stock market’s performance in recent years, on Thursday played down the carnage wracking Wall Street.
Chief executive Tim Cook announced the move in a letter posted to the company’s website, writing that Apple learned lessons from the closures of its stores in “greater China” during the worst of the outbreak there.
“One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimise risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance,” he wrote.
The measure affects the hundreds of Apple stores across the globe and is set to last until March 27.
This week the iPhone maker reopened all 42 of its locations in China after they began to be shuttered in early February as the number of coronavirus cases skyrocketed there.
China has since seen steep declines in the number of new infections, leading the World Health Organisation to say on Friday that the epicentre of the pandemic had shifted to Europe.
Cook said all affected hourly employees would continue to be paid as if the stores were open and that all sites are undergoing a deep cleaning.
According to him, Apple has donated 15 million dollars to the global response to the pandemic.
The U.S. tech giant, which makes many of its products in China, warned last month it no longer expected to meet its previous quarterly earnings guidance as a result of the virus.
It cited worldwide iPhone supply problems due to factory closures and falling demand in China.