Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates recently announced its divorce plans but largely left the answer to the question of how the Co-Chairs will continue to work together in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Now, new opinion from the Foundation has provided some clarity: they may not (via New York Times). According to the foundation, Melinda French Gates will resign as co-chair and trustee if she or Bill Gates decide they will not be able to work together after two years. It is not clear how the organization settled on that schedule.
Bill Suzman, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, announced a two-year post-divorce probationary period and Melinda and Bill’s commitment to additional $ 15 billion in the foundation’s efforts to fight poverty, disease and inequality. Suzman also writes that the co-chairs have decided to expand the number of trustees of the charity:
The additional representatives will bring new perspectives, help guide the allocation of resources and strategic direction, and ensure the stability and sustainability of the Foundation.
According to the statement, Melinda and Bill are “fully committed to continuing constructive collaboration in the foundation,” but if Melinda resigns after two years, Suzman suggests she continue to donate under her own brand:
Melinda would receive personal resources from Bill for her charity work. These resources would be completely separate from the Foundation’s funds, which will not be affected.
The amount of these resources is not known, but given Melinda’s data is claimed to be significant personal wealth, his charity work may not be hampered much.
Melinda and Bill long ago resigned from Microsoft but they have still had a great impact on the world through the work of their foundation (being a billionaire also helps). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has recently focused its efforts on combating the COVID-19 pandemic, by donating $ 250 million towards the development of vaccines and other therapies in 2020. Last month, the foundation committed $ 2.1 billion over the next five years towards women’s economic empowerment, health and leadership.