Melinda French Gates leaving the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

May 13, 2024, 10:07 AM | Updated: 4:07 pm

melinda gates foundation...

US businesswoman and philanthropist Melinda Gates speaks during the Generation Equality Forum at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris. (Photo: Ludovic Marin, Getty Images)

(Photo: Ludovic Marin, Getty Images)

Melinda French Gates announced she is stepping down as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation via a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Monday.

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

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Her last day at the foundation will be June 7.

Billionaire benefactors Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates previously filed for divorce in 2021, but pledged to continue their philanthropic work together as co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — one of the largest private charitable foundations in the world. They were married for 27 years. The organization has spent approximately $50 billion over the last 20 years towards curbing poverty, disease and other international struggles.

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“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,” Melinda French Gates wrote in a prepared statement on X. “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. I’ll be sharing more about what that will look like in the near future.”

Bill Gates will remain in control and, essentially, buy French Gates out of the foundation, according to CNN. The organization will change its name to the Gates Foundation. Bill Gates will become the sole chair and CEO.

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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Melinda French Gates leaving the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation