REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has stepped down from its board of directors effective immediately, the company has announced.

Microsoft said in a statement on Friday that Gates wanted to dedicate more time to his philanthropy work including global health, education and climate change. He will still serve as a technology advisor to CEO Satya Nadella and other Microsoft leaders.

Gates was Microsoft’s chairman of the board until February 2014.

In 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. 

"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," Nadella says in the statement.

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Bill Gates
In this Feb. 1, 2019 file photo, Bill Gates smiles while being interviewed in Kirkland, Wash.
FILE - AP Photo/Elaine Thompson