Software developer, Technology Advisor, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s board after pledging $1.4m to blockchain in Africa, the company announced on Friday. Microsoft Corp. added such a move he dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities including global health, development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change.
Bill Gates Dedication to Blockchain Technology
At the end of 2019, Microsoft announced a blockchain token and data management service which would be a new tool for its Azure enterprise service users. Gates himself has also recently backed the blockchain-enabled security service for fintech companies operating in Africa and Asia called Crest, writing a check earlier this month for $1.4 million to help financial technology companies bring financial services to unbanked populations in these areas.
“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.
With Gates’ departure, the Board will consist of 12 members, including John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent chair; Reid Hoffman, partner at Greylock Partners; Hugh Johnston, vice chairman and chief financial officer of PepsiCo; Teri L. List-Stoll, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Gap, Inc.; Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft; Sandra E. Peterson, operating partner, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; Penny Pritzker, founder and chairman, PSP Partners; Charles W. Scharf, chief executive officer and president of Wells Fargo & Co.; Arne Sorenson, president and CEO, Marriott International Inc.; John W. Stanton, chairman of Trilogy Equity Partners; Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK); and Padmasree Warrior, founder, CEO and president, Fable Group Inc.
Last month, the Naval Air Warfare Center awarded a 5-year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III contract to SIMBA Chain to setup a secure, blockchain-based messaging and transaction platform built using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, applies to land and water operations, allowing for safe data exchange.