MELINDA GATES TO STEP DOWN AS CO-CHAIR OF GATES FOUNDATION – Melinda co-founded the foundation with her former spouse over 20 years ago

Melinda French Gates is stepping down as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s biggest private charitable foundations that she co-founded with her former spouse more than 20 years ago.

Bill and Melinda Gates filed for divorce in 2021 after 27 years of marriage but had pledged to continue their philanthropic work together.

“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,” Melinda Gates said in a post online.

The Gates’ said in 2021 that they had reached an agreement on how to divide their marital assets, but no details of that agreement were disclosed in the final divorce order filed in court.

“I am sorry to see Melinda leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in her future philanthropic work,” Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said in a post on X.

The foundation is one of the most powerful and influential forces in global public health, having spent more than $50 billion over the past two decades to bring a business approach to combating poverty and disease.

“This is not a decision I came to lightly,” Melinda Gates said. Her last day at the foundation will be June 7.