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Three years after divorce, Melinda resigns as co-chair of Gates Foundation

Melinda French Gates on Monday resigned from her position as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Melinda, who announced this on her X handle @melindagates, disclosed that her last day of work at the foundation will be June 7, 2024.

This is coming three years after the Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, and Melinda announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage.

On June 7, 2021, the Chief Executive Officer and Board member of the foundation, Mark Suzman announced that Melinda would resign as co-chair and trustee of the foundation if after two years either of the two concluded that they could not work together as co-chairs.

Suzman noted, “Over the past two decades, Bill and Melinda have nurtured the foundation’s growth, often referring to it as their “fourth child.” They have repeatedly made clear their joint commitment and expectation to remain long-term partners and co-chairs.

“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.”

Meanwhile, French Gates on Monday stated, “After careful thought and reflection, I have decided to resign from my role as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. My last day of work at the foundation will be June 7th.

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“This is not a decision I came to lightly. I am immensely proud of the foundation that Bill and I built together and of the extraordinary work it is doing to address inequities around the world. I care deeply about the foundation team, our partners around the world, and everyone who is touched by its work.

“I am taking this step with full confidence that the foundation is in strong shape, with its extremely capable CEO Mark Suzman, the Executive Leadership Team, and an experienced board of trustees in place to ensure all its important work continues. The time is right for me to move forward into the next chapter of my philanthropy.

“This is a critical moment for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world -and those fighting to protect and advance equality are in urgent need of support. Under the terms of my agreement with Bill, in leaving the foundation, I will have an additional $12.5 billion to commit to my work on behalf of women and families. I’ll be sharing more about what that will look like in the near future.”

Reacting to her resignation, Bill Gates thanked Melinda for her contributions to the foundation.

He said, “I want to thank Melinda for her critical contributions to the Foundation from its very beginning. As a co-founder and co-chair Melinda has been instrumental in shaping our strategies and initiatives, significantly impacting global health and gender equality.

“Looking ahead, I remain fully committed to the Foundation’s work across all our strategies, and to realizing the opportunities we have to continue improving the lives of millions around the world.

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“I am sorry to see Melinda leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact on her future philanthropic work.

“Our foundation team is incredibly strong and deeply passionate about our work, and under the leadership of Mark Suzman, and a committed board of trustees, I am confident we will keep making substantial progress on our mission to create a world where every person can live a healthy, productive life.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was established in 2000 through the merger of the two Gates foundations.

Gracie Brown
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