Melinda French Gates to Resign as Co-Chair of Gates Foundation

Melinda French Gates to Resign as Co-Chair of Gates Foundation

Alessandra De Luca
2 min read

Melinda French Gates Announces Resignation from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Melinda French Gates, the former wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has declared her resignation as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, effective next month. The divorce settlement has granted French Gates an additional $12.5 billion to advance her initiatives on women's rights and gender equality. Notably, the Gates Foundation has played a pivotal role in global health and anti-poverty efforts, focusing on regions such as Africa and South Asia. French Gates' departure comes in the wake of the couple's separation three years ago and mirrors MacKenzie Scott's distinct separation of philanthropic endeavors from her former husband, Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos. Bill Gates has expressed remorse over French Gates' decision, acknowledging the significant impact she is likely to have in her future philanthropic pursuits.

Key Takeaways

  • Melinda French Gates plans to step down as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation next month.
  • She will have an additional $12.5 billion for her philanthropic endeavors, especially focused on women and families.
  • The Gates Foundation has been a major driving force in global health and anti-poverty initiatives.
  • Her departure follows her divorce from Bill Gates in 2021.
  • French Gates is following the footsteps of MacKenzie Scott in entirely separating philanthropic ventures from her ex-husband.


Melinda French Gates' resignation will profoundly impact global philanthropy. With the substantial financial backing of $12.5 billion, she is poised to further champion women's rights and gender equality.

The departure of a key figure like French Gates from the Gates Foundation may prompt strategic shifts in the organization, potentially leading to heightened focus on women's issues and influencing other philanthropic entities. Furthermore, her independent ventures could potentially diversify the philanthropic landscape and cultivate new partnerships addressing gender inequality. However, her departure may also affect the foundation's effectiveness in global health and poverty reduction efforts.

Did You Know?

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Established in 2000 by Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, this private foundation aims to improve global healthcare and alleviate extreme poverty. Particularly active in regions like Africa and South Asia, the foundation has been pivotal in global health and anti-poverty initiatives.
  • Philanthropic ventures of MacKenzie Scott: Following her divorce from Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott has garnered attention for her significant philanthropic contributions, committing billions of dollars to various causes, including education, racial equity, and pandemic relief.
  • $12.5 billion for women and families: The divorce agreement has provided Melinda French Gates with an additional $12.5 billion to support her endeavors focusing on women's rights and gender equality, significantly empowering her to make a substantial impact in these areas through her independent philanthropic ventures.

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