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Melinda Gates steps down as Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Melinda French Gates
 
Melinda French Gates has announced resignation from her role as Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – one of the most influential non profit organisations in the world which will turn 25 next year. Taking to social media platform X, Melinda wrote, “My last day of work at the foundation will be June 7.”
Melinda’s announcement to quit the Foundation comes 3 years after her divorce with American billionaire businessman Bill Gates. Despite divorce, the couple had announced that they would continue their joint philanthropic work. Reacting to the news of Melinda’s resignation, her former husband Bill Gates reacted on social media, “I am sorry to see Melinda leave…”, also thanking her for her “critical contributions to the Foundation from its very beginning.”
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s CEO Mark Suzman also spoke about the development in a statement issued on their official website revealing that after Melinda’s resignation, Bill Gates will become the sole Chair of the organisation. He also informed that the name of the Foundation will change to the Gates Foundation “to honor Bill Sr.’s legacy and Melinda’s contributions”.

Melinda French Gates’ announcement

“After careful thought and reflection, I have decided to resign from my role as co-chair of the bill and Melinda gates Foundation. My last day of work at the foundation will be June 7th,” Melinda Gates posted on social media platform X on Monday.
“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.
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 experience board of trustees in place to ensure all its important work continues. The time is right for me to move forward into the next chapter of my philanthropy,” she further wrote.

Melinda to focus on women’s rights

Melinda Gates, one of the most powerful women in philanthropy, in her social media post, expressed her desire to focus on women’s rights in the U.S. and other parts of the world. In 2015, she founded investment company Pivotal Ventures, a separate entity from the Gates Foundation, which focuses on removing barriers to opportunity for women and minority groups.
She wrote, “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. 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 will be sharing more about what that will look like in the near future.”
Bill Gates and Melinda Gates

Bill Gates reacts

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates, who parted ways with wife Melinda 27 years after their marriage in 2021, has reacted to the news of Melinda quitting the Foundation.
Taking to social media platform X, the American businessman and philanthropist wrote, “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.
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.”
The Microsoft Founder remains one of the world’s richest men, with a net worth of more than $129.5bn, according to Forbes. Ms Gates holds the 9th rank in the Forbes Top 10 richest People in the World in 2024.

 

Statement from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s CEO Mark Suzman

“I am writing to share some important news. Melinda French Gates has decided to resign from her role as co-chair of the foundation. Her last day of work at the foundation will be June 7. Melinda cares deeply about the foundation and is extremely proud of all of you and the work you do every day to help millions of people live better lives. She made this decision, after considerable reflection, based on how she wants to spend the next chapter of her philanthropy. Melinda has new ideas about the role she wants to play in improving the lives of women and families in the U.S. and around the world. And, after a difficult few years watching women’s rights rolled back in the U.S. and around the world, she wants to use this next chapter to focus specifically on altering that trajectory,” Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s CEO Mark Suzman mentioned in a statement.
“We will be changing our name to the Gates Foundation to honor Bill Sr.’s legacy and Melinda’s contributions, and Bill will become the sole Chair of the foundation,” he informed.
Mark Suzman, CEO, Gates Foundation

About Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Launched in 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the most influential and large charitable institutions in the world, especially known for its influence in public health across the globe. The foundation is the largest private donor to the World Health Organization (WHO).
As per the foundation’s website, Melinda and Bill have donated more than $36 billion of their own wealth from 1994 to 2018 to the Foundation.
Headquartered in the US’ Seattle, the Gates Foundation supports major international institutions like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Foundation spends billions of dollars every year on initiatives aimed at eradicating infectious diseases, reducing poverty and combating climate change.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation began working in India in 2003, and with its Avahan initiative for HIV prevention, it is estimated to have prevented 6,00,000 new infections. Gates Foundation-backed Gavi was among the key players in distributing COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.
Talking about the Foundation’s work, CEO Mark Suzman mentioned in his statement, “In our first quarter century, guided by Bill Gates, Sr. and with the immense generosity and vision of Bill, Melinda, and Warren Buffett, we have made significant contributions to the world, saving and improving tens of millions of lives in partnership with a network of thousands of brilliant partners. Next year, we will celebrate our 25th anniversary, looking back at our historic impact and looking forward to a future where more people can thrive – no matter where they are born.
As we move to an unprecedented annual payout of $9 billion, we have the opportunity to continue to reduce the number of women who die in childbirth and children who die before their fifth birthdays. Eradicate polio and possibly even malaria. Expand the number of women who are running their own businesses and pulling their families out of poverty. Ensure more people in the United States and around the world have access to the tools and resources they need to educate and feed their children and take care of their health.”