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PAUL ALLEN LEAVES
MICROSOFT FOLD
Decision Unrelated To Antonio Banderas Turning Down Allen Role In Cable TV Movie
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is stepping down from the board. The surprise announcement was made Thursday (9/28).

Allen's departure is reportedly due to personal—not business—reasons. Allen is battling Hodgkin's disease and is an active philanthropist. He said he wants to devote less time to business and more time to his causes.

Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975. The first personal computer he developed garnered first year sales of just $16,005. The men were general partners until 1977, when Gates became president and Allen became vice-president of Microsoft. Allen has been a corporation director since 1990. Allen was recently named third richest man in the U.S. by Forbes.

Allen said in a statement: "Being an active board member for a dynamic and successful company such as Microsoft is a time-intensive role and one I have enjoyed for many years. However, this new role will enable me to spend my time on the technology and products where I can really make a significant contribution."

Said Bill Gates: "Paul was instrumental in the creation of Microsoft and has played an important role in the success and direction of the company throughout the years. I will continue to value his friendship and counsel in the years ahead."

Meanwhile, another board member has left the Microsoft fold. Richard Hackborn stepped down to spend more time with his family.

Neither Allen nor Hackborn will be immediately replaced.

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