Gates joins forces with Zuckerberg

The new lobbying organization co-founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has added four prominent tech executives to its all-star roster, including Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. 

The new members include two other top Microsoft executives and investor Sean Parker, who was also the founding president of Facebook. Gates and Parker have joined FWD.us as founders, according to the group's website.

The other additions to the group include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith, who are listed as contributors. FWD.us is currently focusing its efforts on rallying support for immigration reform.  


"We're thrilled that Bill Gates, Brad Smith, Steve Ballmer, and Sean Parker — longtime advocates for vital policies like comprehensive immigration reform that will grow our economy — are joining FWD.us' efforts to organize and engage the tech community," FWD.us President Joe Green, who also founded Causes.com, said in a statement.

"We've been excited by the momentum we continue to see as more members of the tech community contribute to the national debate to improve our economic future, and support the bipartisan policies that will boost economic growth and continue to grow the knowledge economy."

Facebook and Microsoft have built a close business relationship over the years. The search function on the social networking website is powered by Microsoft's Bing search engine, and Microsoft owns stock in Facebook.

FWD.us is pushing for comprehensive immigration reform as both chambers of Congress work on sweeping reform legislation. The new organization also plans to rally support for education reform and improvements to science, technology, math and engineering education programs.

The group also counts Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings as major donors.

— This story was updated at 3:19 p.m.