Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, announced his resignation as a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday, according to a press release.
Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they were getting divorced in May of 2021. For many, it was an earth-shattering announcement, one that raises a host of questions about the future of their foundation and its quest to end disease worldwide. This latest announcement adds to the growing number of questions about what's in store for the many enterprises currently being managed by the Gates Foundation.
The foundation supplies grants to researchers studying polio, nutrition, agriculture, global education, sanitation, HIV, malaria, tobacco control, vaccines, gender inequality...and we're just getting started.
It's a truly massive enterprise. The foundation has grown to over 1,600 employees over the last two decades and has issued total payments in excess of $54.8 billion, so it's not an overstatement to say that the foundation is quite literally transforming the world.
At the age of 90, Buffet has donated $41 billion worth of Berkshire stock to the five foundations. In today's announcement, he added that he has donated an extra $4.1 billion, but he didn't give a reason for his decision.
"Today is a milestone for me," Buffett wrote in a statement. "In 2006, I pledged to distribute all of my Berkshire Hathaway shares — more than 99% of my net worth — to philanthropy. With today’s $4.1 billion distribution, I’m halfway there."
Buffett’s resignation from the Gates Foundation board comes at an unprecedented time for the organization, especially following the announcement of founders Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates' divorce.
"For years I have been a trustee — an inactive trustee at that — of only one recipient of my funds, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMG). I am now resigning from that post, just as I have done at all corporate boards other than Berkshire’s,” Buffett said. “The CEO of BMG is Mark Suzman, an outstanding recent selection who has my full support. My goals are 100% in sync with those of the foundation, and my physical participation is in no way needed to achieve these goals."
This is a breaking story and will be regularly updated as new information becomes available.