She resigns as Gates Foundation co-chair and receives $12.5bn

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By Creative Media News

  • Melinda French Gates steps down from Gates Foundation co-chair role
  • Gates Foundation to be renamed; French Gates to receive $12.5 billion
  • French Gates’ departure sparks discussions on foundation’s governance

Melinda French Gates has announced her intention to relinquish her position as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization founded over two decades ago by her and her ex-husband, Bill Gates.

“I did not arrive at this decision lightly,” French Gates wrote on X on Monday. “I am extremely proud of the foundation Bill and I established together, as well as the extraordinary work it is undertaking to bring attention to global inequities.”

She lauded Mark Suzman, the chief executive officer of the foundation, and the board of trustees, which underwent a substantial expansion subsequent to the couple’s declaration of divorce in May 2021.

“I believe the time has come for me to embark on the next phase of my philanthropic endeavors,” French Gates said in a statement, declining to provide additional information.

In French In accordance with her agreement with Gates, she will receive a grant of $12.5 billion, which she intends to allocate towards future initiatives that specifically focus on women and families. According to the foundation, Gates, co-founder of the American technology behemoth Microsoft, will personally contribute those funds rather than from the foundation’s endowment.

A spokesperson announced that the organization will now be known as the Gates Foundation.

“I’m sorry to see her depart.”

Having spent over $75 billion since its inception to apply a business perspective to combating poverty and disease, the foundation is one of the most influential and potent forces in global public health.

According to its website, Bill and Melinda Gates donated approximately $59.5 billion to the Seattle-based foundation between 1994 and 2018.

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According to French, a sociology professor at the University of Essex and author of No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy, Linsey McGoey, stated the following: Once more, Gates’s departure prompts the inquiry into whether greater decentralization of authority over the foundation is necessary.

“Should those in authority consist of more than a small, tightly knit core?” McGoey responded that the foundation controls a substantial amount of funding that affects individuals who do not have access to “a democratic pathway” to challenge its use.

In a statement, Gates expressed gratitude to French Gates for her “crucial” contributions to the foundation, stating, “I regret her departure, but I am certain she will make a tremendous contribution to her future philanthropic endeavors.”

Forbes estimates that French Gates is worth $11.3 billion. Pivotal Ventures manages a portion of her charitable contributions and investments. Since its inception in 2015, the investment firm has specialized in women and families.

Following 27 years of matrimony, the affluent couple divorced in 2021; however, they had mutually agreed to persist in their philanthropic endeavors. The court in Seattle submitted their final divorce decree, but it did not mention the terms of their agreement regarding the distribution of their joint assets.

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