Share story

Costco Wholesale said Friday that William H. Gates Sr. is voluntarily leaving his director seat on the company’s board in January, a role he has held for 11 years.

Gates, a prominent attorney and philanthropist, helps direct the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an institution funded by the fortune amassed by his son, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

The elder Gates, who is 89, tendered his resignation in a letter sent to Costco’s board Wednesday. “The voluntary resignation is not due to any disagreement with the company,” Costco said in a securities filing issued Friday. “The company and its board of directors express their deepest gratitude to Mr. Gates for his more than 11 years of dedicated service.”

Gates will remain a director until after Costco’s annual shareholder meeting Jan. 29 closes, the filing said.

A spokeswoman for the foundation said that Gates remains fully “engaged and active in his co-chair role” there.

Ángel González: 206-464-2250 or On Twitter @gonzalezseattle