The US tech giant said in a statement on Friday that its co-founder, billionaire Bill Gates, 64, will dedicate more time to other priorities, including global health, education and issues connected with mitigating climate change.

According to Microsoft, Bill Gates will, however, keep his post as Technology Advisor to the company's CEO Satya Nadella and other board members.

“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”, Nadella said in the statement.

After Gates' departure, the board will consist of 12 members.

In 2008, Gates stepped down as Microsoft head to concentrate on his charitable foundation. Gates served, however, as Microsoft’s chairman of the board until 2014.

Gates and childhood friend Paul Allen established Microsoft in 1975. Today, Microsoft is a mammoth multinational company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington, producing software, consumer electronics, personal computers and many other digital infrastructure products.

Gates, the co-founder of US technology giant Microsoft, is currently the world’s second-richest man according to Forbes magazine.