Melinda French Gates steps down from charitable foundation that bears her name

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Melinda French Gates said on Monday she is stepping down as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Her last day of work at the foundation will be June 7, according to a post on X.

Billionaire benefactors Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders of one of the world’s largest private charitable foundations, filed for divorce in 2021 after 27 years of marriage but pledged to continue their philanthropic work together.

“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.

The foundation, formed in 2000, is one of the most powerful and influential forces in global public health, having spent more than $50 billion US over the past two decades to bring a business approach to combating poverty and disease.

Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, said in a statement that he was “sorry to see Melinda leave,” while praising her for “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,” he said.

French Gates indicated in her statement that there would be a “next chapter” with respect to her philanthropy.

“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.”

French Gates said she would elaborate on what her charitable endeavours would entail in “the near future.”


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