The Gates Foundation develops a dissolution contingency plan
The Gates Foundation announced a plan to allow Melinda French Gates If she or Bill Gates decides not to cooperate, she will resign as co-chairman and obtain “personal resources” from her separated husband for her own charity.
The escape hatch will take effect in two years, and a series of other corporate governance changes aimed at ensuring long-term stability were announced on Wednesday. future The world’s largest private charitable foundation is at an uncertain time.
Its launch marks the first time that French Gates has publicly proposed to leave the US$50 billion foundation since she and Gates announced in May that they would leave the $50 billion foundation. End their 27-year marriage.
In an interview, the CEO of the foundation, Mark Suzman (Mark Suzman) said that French Gates and Gates He hopes to be “transparent” about the problems caused by their divorce, and said he does not believe that they will eventually end their working relationship.
“From my perspective, this is of course something I don’t want to happen, and there is no plan,” he said. “Bill and Melinda, either alone or together, assured me that they firmly intend to continue their long-term cooperation as co-chairs. This is our plan.”
In Suzman touted as a sign of their commitment, Gates and French Gates announced on Wednesday that they would donate another $15 billion in personal wealth to the foundation’s endowment fund. After the largest donor and only external trustee Warren Buffett announced his appointment as external trustee last month, they also agreed to introduce new external trustees to help support the organization. Step down.
Suzman said it has not yet decided how many trustees will be added or their exact role in decision-making. He and Chief Operating Officer Connie Collingsworth (Connie Collingsworth) plan to submit a proposal to the former couple by January after studying other organizations.
“I would be surprised if this eventually becomes a large-scale expansion,” Suzman added, predicting that new employees might provide new expertise or provide geographical balance for Seattle foundations, which mainly work outside the United States.
Gates and French Gates have built the foundation of the wealth that Bill has accumulated as a co-founder of Microsoft in the past 21 years. It has quickly become one of the most influential forces in global public health and development policies.
When they announced their breakup, the two assured staff and partners that they would continue the mission of the foundation together. However, these guarantees were to some extent influenced by everyone’s hiring of a formidable divorce lawyer, and reports that the relationship between Gates and Jeffrey Epstein angered French Gates and Jeffrey. Lee Epstein was a financier who committed suicide two years ago while awaiting accusations of trafficking in underage women in prison.
Gates said through a spokesperson that he Regret Association, He met with Epstein to discuss philanthropy.
Some people speculate that French Gates and Gates will increasingly pursue their own charity path, which may harm the interests of the foundation. Melinda has its own $5 billion fund, Pivotal Ventures, which focuses on women’s careers, while Bill has a separate fund dedicated to clean energy technology.
For all the recent commotion, Suzman predicts basis Will continue to be the focus of the pair. It announced last week that it plans to invest US$2.1 billion over five years to improve gender equality, which is one of its largest single commitments.
In a note to employees on Wednesday, French Gates said: “These governance changes have brought more diverse perspectives and experiences to the leadership of the foundation. I believe in the foundation’s mission and continue to do my best as a co-chairman. Committed to its work.”