Relationship with Bill Gates still ‘very deep’


Microsoft President Brad Smith.


Microsoft President Brad Smith said Friday that the company’s relationship with Bill Gates still is strong. Gates stepped down from the board last month.

“The relationship will Bill is very deep,” Smith told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “He doesn’t come to our board meetings four times a year, doesn’t participate in the board calls, but he’s very much connected to the company.” 

Gates said in late March that he’s leaving the company’s board to focus on philanthropic efforts, such as global health, education and climate change. At the time, Gates said on LinkedIn he would continue to be engaged with the company’s leadership. 

The billionaire has been focusing on the Covid-19 pandemic, which has sickened more than 2 million people worldwide. Smith said he heard from Gates this week, who wanted to discuss remote interactivity and the pandemic. 

Smith said he and Gates talked about “tech issues, remote interactivity, Covid-19, what he’s seeing around the world, what we’re seeing around the world, what businesses should be doing, what governments need to do.”

“I think, you know, what we’ve really always benefited from in terms of Bill is his engagement, his intellect, breadth of understanding of issues and we’re looking forward very much to continuing to do that,” Smith added. 

Microsoft is one of the most highly-valued public companies and has a market value of $1.35 trillion. Shares of the company closed up 3% Thursday at $177.04. 

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