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Why Melinda Gates is Officially Leaving Their Foundation

Why Melinda Gates is Officially Leaving Their Foundation

Melinda Gates, the former wife of Bill Gates, among the richest men in the world and one of the world’s most notable philanthropists, said she would resign as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. On Monday, she made the news public through social media platforms and her official website.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made over $75 billion worth of grants in its nearly 25 years of its existence. She has helped lead the foundation since 2000.

French Gates said she made the decision “after considerable reflection, based on how she wants to spend the next chapter of her philanthropy,” 

Mark Suzman, the CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, wrote in a statement Monday:

“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.”

“This is not a decision I came to lightly,” she said in a statement on X. “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.”

Why Melinda Gates is Officially Leaving Their Foundation
Melinda French Gates as a speaker at the European Union Summit

Change of Name

Melinda said she plans to leave the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on June 7. She will share more about her future and philanthropic plans in the near future. A spokesperson of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it will change its name to The Gates Foundation.

“Sorry To See Her Leave”

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

“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,” he wrote.

The couple divorced in 2021 after 27 years of marriage. They however pledged to continue with their philanthropic work together. Their final divorce order was filed in a Seattle court. It had no details on how to divide their marital assets. Melinda French Gates will receive $12.5B as part of her agreement with Gates. She said she would commit the same to future work focused on women and families.