Home News Melinda French Gates to resign from Gates Foundation

Melinda French Gates to resign from Gates Foundation


Melinda French Gates will resign from her role as co-chair of the Gates Foundation, she announced Monday.

French Gates, 59, will officially step down on June 7, according to a statement she shared on Twitter.

“This is not a decision I came to lightly,” she wrote. “The time is right for me to move forward into the next chapter of my philanthropy.”

French Gates and her ex-husband, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, launched the well-resourced foundation in 2000, six years after they married. But its future was thrown into question when the couple announced their plans to divorce in May 2021.

Their divorce agreement included contingency plans for the foundation.

“If after two years either decides they cannot continue to work together as co-chairs, French Gates will resign her position as co-chair and trustee,” the agreement read.

“In such a case, French Gates would receive personal resources from Gates for her philanthropic work. These resources would be completely separate from the foundation’s endowment, which would not be affected.”

Melinda Gates and Bill Gates
Melinda Gates and Bill Gates (Getty Images/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

French Gates’ announcement came just over three years after their divorce agreement. However, her statement appeared to reference the divorce paperwork, as she said she will receive $12.5 billion for her own charitable work “on behalf of women and families.”

The Gates Foundation did not confirm the source of that money. The foundation held $75.2 billion in its endowment as of December 2023 and has announced plans to spend $8.6 billion in 2024.

“I am sorry to see Melinda leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in her future philanthropic work,” Bill, 68, said in a tweet. “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.”

Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman announced the news to employees on Monday.

“After a difficult few years watching women’s rights rolled back in the U.S. and around the world, she wants to use this next chapter to focus specifically on altering that trajectory,” Suzman said of French Gates. “I know how beloved Melinda is here.”

With News Wire Services



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