The charitable foundation led by Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates thinks its management will be shaken after the billionaire couple. filing for divorce, weeks later say no planned changes.
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has distributed $ 55bn since launch in 2000, differs from many large philanthropies by not having independent directors.
However, it has been done managed by three trustees: Gates, French Gates and Warren Buffett, the Berkshire Hathaway chair who promised in 2006 to leave most of his estimated $ 110bn fortune to the foundation.
“I’m actively discussing with Bill and Melinda the steps Warren and I can take to strengthen the long-term sustainability and strength of the foundation due to the divorce of the co-chairs,” said Mark Suzman, chief executive on the foundation after The Wall Street Journalism first reports that French Gates is pushing for governance changes.
When the couple announced in early May that they had ended a marriage that was described by filing for divorce as “unbreakable broken”, the foundation stressed that “there are no changes in their duties or planned the organization “.
Suzman’s statement did not provide an explanation for the change in foundation’s management thinking or details on how it looks to manage it in the future.
“No decisions have been made,” he said. “Bill and Melinda have also reaffirmed their commitment to the foundation and continue to work together for our mission. These discussions are about their careful planning for the future.”
The pending divorce removes a question mark on the world’s largest private charity foundation, which employs 1,600 people and donates more than $ 5bn a year, which is most of the world’s health projects and development.
Much of the estimated $ 124bn fortune Gates made as co-founder of the software group Microsoft has yet to make a foundation for, and the divorce raises speculation that the remaining ten billion dollars could be spent to raise capital. and philanthropic cars he and French Gates act separately.
In a talk with the Financial Times shortly before her divorce submission went public, French Gates said the couple kept their own conflicts separate to make a foundation decision.
“Don’t we agree? At times, of course, we do. But what are we. . . that has been done many years ago at the foundation so we have disagreements outside the foundation, do it and come to the foundation as leaders with a voice, ”he said.