Stepping down as a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is American investor and billionaire, Warren Buffett. The announcement of Warren Buffet’s resignation comes weeks after Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they were getting a divorce after 27 years of marriage, but would continue to jointly run the foundation.
The eponymous Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the largest charitable foundations in the world. Over the years, since its inception, the foundation has significantly contributed to the enhancement of healthcare and extreme poverty reduction across the globe. The foundation has also expanded educational opportunities and access to information technology, with individuals like Warren Buffett playing keys roles, alongside Mark Suzman, and Michael Larson.
Warren Buffet, in a statement, mentioned that his appointment as a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had been an inactive one. In the statement, he affirmed his support for the CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mark Suzman, and mentioned that his goals were totally in line with that of the Foundation. According to him, his physical participation is in no way needed to achieve the Bill and Melinda Foundation’s goals. Buffet, 90, has also resigned from positions on other corporate boards but remains the Chairman and Chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, from which, according to him, he will eventually step down.
Buffet said that he is halfway to reaching his goal of giving away the entirety of his shares in the conglomerate, and announced another donation of $4.1 billion. In Buffett’s donation, the Bill and Melinda. Gates Foundation received more than $3.2 billion, bringing Buffet’s total giving to the foundation to nearly $33 billion.
Michael Suzman, CEO of the Foundation, admitted that Buffett’s departure raises questions about the Foundation’s leadership, with allegations of Bill Gates’ improper behaviour in the workplace still being very much in the light, as well as the more recent announcement of Bill and Melinda’s divorce. It was recently revealed that board members at Microsoft Corp. decided in 2020 that it wasn’t appropriate for Gates, the company’s co-founder, to sit on its board as they investigated his prior romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee that was deemed inappropriate. But the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has said that it is not investigating the allegations in the media, as the reported incident was made by “an anonymous former employee.” According to Suzman, discussions on approaches to strengthen the governance to provide long-term stability and sustainability, have been ongoing between himself, Buffet, Bill, and Melinda, for the strengthening of the Foundation’s governance.
Warren Buffett, on his departure, received gratitude from the Foundation’s CEO, Michael Suzman, and Bill and Melinda Gates, who described his contribution to the Foundation as immeasurable.