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JUST IN: Melinda French Gates To Step Down From Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Melinda French Gates will resign from her role as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Her last day of work at the foundation will be June 7th.

“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,” Gates said.

“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,” she added.

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NBC News reports:

Melinda French Gates is stepping down from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, three years after announcing her separation from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

In a statement posted on her Instagram account, she said that as part of her agreement to step down from the foundation, she will retain $12.5 billion that she plans to put toward her ongoing work supporting women and families.

“This is not a decision I came to lightly,” French Gates wrote. “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.”

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

Now worth $75.2 billion, the Gates Foundation has over the course of its three-decade lifespan made $77.6 billion worth of grant payments, making it one of the largest donor organizations in the world, with a focus on health and developmental goals. It is one of the largest contributors to the World Health Organization, and played a key role in efforts to address the Covid pandemic.

“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,” Bill Gates said.

“I am sorry to see Melinda leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in 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,” he added.

Per CNN:

French Gates’ exit had been telegraphed for several years. Bill Gates and French Gates announced their divorce in May 2021. They said at the time they would allow themselves a kind of trial period through 2023 to determine if they could continue working with one another to oversee their massive charitable foundation.

Suzman announced in July 2021 a contingency plan “to ensure the continuity of the foundation’s work.”

“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,” Suzman said.

Gates will remain in control and, essentially, buy French Gates out of the foundation, Suzman said at the time. French Gates would receive “personal resources” from Gates for her own philanthropic work — resources that would be “completely separate from the foundation’s endowment.”

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