Melinda French Gates To Resign As Gates Foundation Co-Chair, Plans To Continue Her Own Philanthropic Work: What You Need to Know

Zinger Key Points
  • Melinda Gates announces on Monday that she would be resigning her co-chair position on the Gates Foundation.
  • Gates says she will receive $12.5 billion as part of the agreement for her own philanthropic efforts.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is about to lose one of its namesakes. Co-chair of the foundation’s multibillion-dollar endowment, Melinda French Gates, announced on Monday that she will resign from the role. Alongside her ex-husband and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, she has helped lead the charitable foundation.

What Happened: French Gates first announced on the social media platform X that she was resigning from her position to pursue her own philanthropic projects. French Gates has held the role since 2000.

“I am immensely proud of the foundation that Bill and I built together and the extraordinary work it is doing to address inequalities around the world. I care deeply about the foundation team, our partners around the world, and everyone who is touched by its work,” French Gates said on X. She will officially step down on June 7.

French Gates announced as part of her agreement to leave the foundation, she would receive an additional $12.5 billion for philanthropic efforts on behalf of women and families.

“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,” French Gates said.

French Gates and her husband announced their separation in 2021.

Bill Gates followed up with a statement on X: “I am sorry to see Melinda leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in her future philanthropic work,” he said.

Why it Matters: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has an endowment of $75.2 billion as of December 2023, according to the foundation. The organization has served as the center of Bill Gates’ multi-billion dollar philanthropic efforts. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, also contributed $36.2 billion through 2022, according to the foundation.

The foundation has several initiatives including gender equality, global health and global infrastructural development, says its website.

Photo: Courtesy USAID Agency, MomAndBaby, via Flickr Creative Commons

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