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  4. Melinda French Gates resigns from the powerful charity foundation she and Bill founded

Melinda French Gates resigns from the powerful charity foundation she and Bill founded

Geoff Weiss   

Melinda French Gates resigns from the powerful charity foundation she and Bill founded
  • Melinda French Gates has resigned as cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • The couple divorced in 2021 but French Gates said she was staying at the nonprofit.

Melinda French Gates announced on Monday she's resigning as cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"The time is right for me to move forward into the next chapter of my philanthropy," she said in a statement on X.

French Gates added that she'll have "an additional $12.5 billion to commit to my work on behalf of women and families" thanks to an agreement with her ex-husband, the Microsoft cofounder and billionaire Bill Gates.

French Gates' resignation is effective June 7.

After the couple announced their divorce in May 2021, French Gates said she'd stay at the powerful charity for two years and that the pair would try to lead the organization jointly. As recently as July, spokespeople for French Gates told The Wall Street Journal that she'd decided to stay as its cochair.

"I am sorry to see Melinda leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in her future philanthropic work," Gates said in a separate statement.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched in 2000 with a broad edict to fight poverty, disease, and inequity across the globe, according to its website. It's known for its influence in the public-health field and has been instrumental in working to eradicate polio and malaria.

As of the end of last year, the foundation had given $77.6 billion in grants since its inception and boasted a total endowment of $75.2 billion. Warren Buffett — Gates and French Gates' partner in founding the Giving Pledge — has given $39.3 billion to the organization.

Perhaps the writing was on the wall that French Gates' departure was coming.

As early as 2021, Business Insider has reported on divisions in the couple's areas of interest at the foundation. Employees told BI that Gates was focused on global health and the climate crisis, while French Gates concentrated on global development, gender equity, and US education programs.

"Both Bill and Melinda have their own priorities, and that's just creating some stress, some confusion, and some chaos," one of the employees said at the time.

In early 2022, reports surfaced that French Gates was not giving the bulk of her fortune — currently $13.3 billion, per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — to her namesake foundation. Some of her gifts have been to her Pivotal Ventures and Pivotal Philanthropies Foundation, both of which focus on social progress and "expanding women's power and influence in the United States."




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