May 24, 2024

Melinda French Gates (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Melinda French Gates said on Monday she would resign as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the organisation she has helped lead since 2000.

Her last day with the Foundation will be June 7. As part of her separation agreement from former husband Bill Gates, French Gates said in a statmement, she will receive an additional $12.5 billion for her charitable work. French Gates, 59, said she now intends to concentrate her efforts on supporting initiatives dedicated to empowering women and assisting families. 

“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 the foundation is in strong shape. The time is right for me to move forward into the next chapter of my philanthropy,” French Gates said

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Bill Gates said, “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. I am sorry to see her leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in her future philanthropic work.” 

He said that he will continue to work with the Foundation. He added,” 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.  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 couple had hinted earlier they might not be able to work together following their 2021 divorce. 

First Published: May 13 2024 | 10:21 PM IST