JUST IN: Melinda resigns as co-chair of Gates Foundation, to get additional $12.5bn


Melinda French Gates has resigned from her position as the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) effective from June 6, 2024.

“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,” she said in a statement shared across her social media accounts.

“I am taking this step with full confidence that the foundation is in strong shape, with its extremely capable CEO Mark Suzman, the Executive Leadership Team, and an experienced board of trustees in place to ensure all its important work continues.”

She will receive an additional $12.5 billion to continue her charitable work outside of the foundation, according to the divorce agreement she had with her ex-husband, Bill Gates.

NewsClick Nigeria reports that the resignation comes three years after the couple ended their marriage of 27 years but agreed to keep working together as co-chair of the foundation.

“The time is right for me to move forward into the next chapter of my philanthropy,” she added.

As of May 2024, Melinda French Gates is worth $13.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In 2015, she founded Pivotal Ventures to “accelerate social progress in the United States by removing barriers that hold people back”. The organisation acts as an incubator for women’s businesses.

French Gates, who has continuously worked towards gender equality across the world, said now is a critical time to do more.

“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,” she 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. I’ll be sharing more about what that will look like in the near future.”

Bill and Melinda Gates founded the Gates Foundation in 2000 to reduce inequalities and make life better for people across the world.

The Gates decided to transfer $20 billion of Microsoft stock to the Foundation, and have spent more than $53 billion supporting various causes across the world — from public health to poverty reduction to gender equality.