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Melinda Gates quits Gates Foundation, to get $12.5b

Melinda French Gates announced Monday she was leaving the philanthropy mega foundation she established with her ex-husband, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

The resignation, which becomes effective on June 7, will leave Bill Gates as the sole chair of one of the world’s most influential and powerful non-governmental organizations.

“After careful thought and reflection, I have decided to resign from my role as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” Melinda French Gates wrote in a statement posted on social media.

The statement gave no reason for her departure, but noted that “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.”

The couple married in 1994 but announced their divorce in 2021.

They had continued to co-chair the foundation which they established in 2001 with the vast wealth acquired through the success of  Microsoft.

With a focus on child poverty and preventable diseases, the foundation has been heavily involved in fighting malaria and in providing toilets and sanitation in poorer parts of the world.

The foundation’s website says it has spent $53.8 billion since 2000, and claims the number of children around the world who die before their fifth birthday has halved in this time.

Bill Gates thanked his ex-wife for her “critical contributions” to the organization.

“As a co-founder and co-chair Melinda has been instrumental in shaping our strategies and initiatives, significantly impacting global health and gender equality,” he said.
“I am sorry to see Melinda leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in her future philanthropic work.”

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