Melinda Gates Leaving Longtime Foundation, Gets Out with $12.5 Billion

Melinda Gates Leaving Longtime Foundation, Gets Out with $12.5 Billion

Melinda French Gates declared on Monday her decision to step down from the philanthropic foundation she co-founded with her former spouse, Microsoft's co-creator, Bill Gates, along with her intention to allocate $12.5 billion towards her future endeavors.

In a statement circulated on social media, Gates articulated, "After careful thought and reflection, I have decided to resign from my role as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation." She emphasized the gravity of her decision, stating, "This is not a decision I came to lightly."

Gates underscored the crucial juncture for women's and girls' empowerment worldwide, stating, "This is a critical moment for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world — and those fighting to protect and advance equality are in urgent need of support."

She elucidated her forthcoming departure, adding, "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."

Her tenure at the foundation will conclude on June 7, transitioning the organization's leadership to Bill Gates as the sole chair, as announced by the foundation's CEO, Mark Suzman, reported CNN.

Addressing his former spouse's departure, Bill Gates conveyed his sentiments in a post on X, expressing, "I am sorry to see Melinda leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in her future philanthropic work." He reiterated his steadfast commitment to the foundation's endeavors, affirming, "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."

The couple, who parted ways in May 2021, pledged to sustain their partnership within the foundation for two years following their separation. The arrangement stipulated that should they find themselves unable to collaborate effectively at the end of this period, Melinda Gates would pursue other avenues.

According to The Associated Press, the Gates Foundation boasted an endowment exceeding $75 billion by December, with plans to allocate $8.6 billion towards philanthropic initiatives for the current year. However, the foundation has faced criticism, notably for disbursing or committing approximately $23 million in grants to Chinese government entities during its 2022 fiscal period, as per tax records.

The grants encompassed over 20 Chinese organizations, including government agencies, categorized as "foreign government" in the foundation's tax filings.

Predominantly directed towards public health research and analysis, these projects encompassed endeavors related to disease management and vaccine distribution. Moreover, the Gates Foundation extended support to Chinese universities engaged in defense-related research for the Chinese military.

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