Gates Foundation reveals plan in case co-chairs can’t work together

The Gates Foundation said Melinda French Gates could possibly step aside from her leadership if she and Bill Gates determine they can’t work together, as philanthropy has laid out plans for her future oversight.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced on Wednesday that it would add trustees and that its controlling philanthropists would add an additional $ 15 billion to the foundation’s $ 49.9 billion endowment, their largest contribution since 2000. The money will be used to fund grants as part of the foundation’s work. on issues such as infectious disease, gender equality and education in the United States, said Mark Suzman, chief executive of the foundation, in an interview.

Under a private deal that was part of their planned divorce, Ms French Gates would step down as co-chair and administrator if, after two years, one of the co-chairs decided that he could no longer work together to run the foundation, has said Mr. Suzman. . If that happened, he said, Ms French Gates would receive funds from Mr Gates separate from the foundation’s endowment for her own philanthropic work.

Ms French Gates has discussed for at least several weeks the possibility of leaving the foundation if joint leadership with Mr Gates is not tenable, people familiar with the matter said. She spent more time working at her Pivotal Ventures business while still maintaining her job at the foundation, the people said.

The foundation disclosed the arrangement because it concerns the additional directors the organization plans to recruit, Mr Suzman said in the interview. He said that did not signal the impending departure of Ms French Gates. “Bill and Melinda both individually and together assured me of their firm intention to continue working together as long-term co-chairs of the foundation,” he said.

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