When it was announced earlier this month that Bill and Melinda French Gates were seeking a divorce after 27 years of marriage, some wondered what would become of the foundation the two had formed in 2000. Now, we’ve got some answers.
If you recall, when the divorce announcement was made in May, both parties said they would continue to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In a statement issued earlier today, CEO Mark Suzman said they have agreed to an additional step: if after two years, either party decides they cannot continue to work together as co-chairs, French Gates will resign as co-chair and trustee.
It is unclear how or why the parties involved decided on a two-year window.
The two co-chairs also announced that they have committed an additional $15 billion in resources to the foundation in order to continue its global fight against poverty, inequality and disease, and will expand the number of trustees overseeing the foundation’s decision-making. Since its inception, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed more than $55 billion to its cause.
“Our vision for the foundation has grown over time, but it has always been focused on addressing inequity and expanding opportunity for the world’s poorest people,” said Bill Gates. “These new resources and the evolution of the foundation’s governance will sustain this ambitious mission and vital work for years to come.”
The Gates aren’t the only high-profile tech couple to split in recent memory. Back in 2019, Jeff and MacKenzie Scott announced they would split after 25 years of marriage. Scott walked away with roughly a quarter of their joint Amazon stock and has been giving it away ever since.