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Melinda to quit Gates Foundation after 24 years

Melinda French Gates made a significant announcement on Monday, revealing her decision to depart from the philanthropic powerhouse she co-founded with her former spouse, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Effective June 7, Melinda’s resignation will leave Bill Gates as the sole chair of one of the world’s most influential non-governmental organizations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In her statement shared on social media, Melinda cited careful consideration and reflection as the basis for her decision, without specifying a reason. However, she highlighted that, per her agreement with Bill, she will have an additional $12.5 billion to dedicate to her endeavors supporting women and families.

The couple, who married in 1994 and announced their divorce in 2021, continued to jointly lead the foundation, which they established in 2001 using the vast wealth accrued from Microsoft’s success. The foundation’s work has encompassed addressing child poverty, combating preventable diseases like malaria, and improving sanitation in underserved regions.

Acknowledging Melinda’s pivotal role, Bill Gates expressed gratitude for her contributions to the organization, emphasizing her influence on global health and gender equality initiatives. While he expressed regret over her departure, he voiced confidence in her future philanthropic endeavors.

Mark Suzman, the foundation’s chief executive, lauded Melinda’s impact in shaping its values and strategies over the past 24 years. He expressed admiration for her and conveyed excitement about her ongoing contributions to the philanthropic landscape.

The organization will undergo a name change, reverting to simply the Gates Foundation, reflecting this new chapter. Established in 2000, the Gates Foundation stands as one of the world’s largest charitable foundations, boasting $69 billion in assets as of 2020.

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