Bill Gates

Bill Gates has announced his decision to step down from the Microsoft board to focus on philanthropic projects.

The tech giant's co-founder, who is one of the world's richest people, will also step away from the board of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett's holding company.

Mr Gates said he wants to dedicate his time to global health and development, education and tackling climate change.

In a statement, he said: "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."

Microsoft would "always be an important part of my life's work", he added.

Gates left the daily running of Microsoft in 2008, handing over the reigns to Satya Nadella. He is currently the second richest person in the world behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with an estimated net worth of £84.4 billion.