Melinda French Gates will have to resign from the Gates Foundation in 2023, if she or Bill Gates, her ex-husband, decide they cannot work together, the foundation said Wednesday.
This is as a result of a divorce announced by the couple in May 2021.
In a note to employees, the foundation said if any of them decide they cannot work together, Melinda French Gates will resign as co-chair.
“They have repeatedly made clear their joint commitment and expectation to remain long-term partners and co-chairs,” the note by Mark Suzman, the foundation CEO, said.
“However, as an additional step, they have agreed that if after two years either one of them decides that they cannot continue to work together, Melinda will resign as co-chair and trustee.
“In such a case, Melinda would receive personal resources from Bill for her philanthropic work. These resources would be completely separate from the foundation’s endowment, which would not be affected.”
The duo donated another fresh $15 billion to the foundation — the biggest donation in 21 years.
“Bill and Melinda have decided to contribute an additional $15 billion to the foundation’s endowment. The donation is their single largest contribution since 2000—when they transferred $20 billion in
“Microsoft stock to the foundation—and will bring the total endowment to approximately $65 billion.”
In June, Warren Buffet, billionaire investor, resigned from the foundation without stating any reasons fr his decision. This has left the Gates as the only trustees of the foundation.
“Bill and Melinda have decided to expand the number of trustees that oversee the foundation’s work and help guide key decisions around our programs, strategies, and resource allocations,” Suzman added.
Suzman highlighted that the two were optimistic about the future of the foundation.
Through the same note, French Gates said she is deeply proud of all the works the foundation has done to make the world a better place.
“I believe deeply in the foundation’s mission and remain fully committed as co-chair to its work,” she said.
Bill Gates said the vision for the “foundation has grown over time, but it has always been focused on addressing inequity and expanding opportunity for the world’s poorest people”.
“These new resources and the evolution of the foundation’s governance will sustain this ambitious mission and vital work for years to come.”