Microsoft Corporation MSFT co-founder Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates have set themselves a two-year trial period as co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to CEO Mark Suzman.
What Happened: Suzman revealed the plans of the co-chairs as a part of a plan to continue the foundation’s work “to fight poverty, disease, and inequity in the U.S. and around the world.”
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The CEO elaborated the “continuity” plan, “If after two years either decide they cannot continue to work together as co-chairs, French Gates will resign her position as co-chair and trustee.”
“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.”
Suzman stressed that as per their divorce agreement, announced in May, the two had demonstrated that they were “fully committed to continuing to work constructively together at the foundation to advance its program and policy objectives.”
Why It Matters: Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates had transferred $20 billion of Microsoft stock to the foundation before announcing their divorce, as per an earlier report.
On Wednesday, Suzman said that the two have committed $15 billion in new resources to the foundation.
The Seattle, Washington-headquartered foundation counts Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) CEO Warren Buffett among its trustees. It has given out $54.8 billion in grants since its inception.
The co-chairs have decided to expand the number of trustees which according to Suzman will “bring new perspectives, help guide resource allocation and strategic direction, and ensure the stability and sustainability of the foundation.”
Price Action: On Wednesday, Microsoft shares closed almost 0.8% higher at $279.93 in the regular session and gained 0.17% in the after-hours trading.
Photo by Kuhlmann on Wikimedia
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