Warren Buffett will leave the Board of Directors of the Gates Foundation. After its co-chairs Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce, the world’s largest private charity organization is even more uncertain.
Buffett, the legendary American investor and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, became the fund with his friend Gates and his family after announcing that he would donate most of his wealth to charity in 2006 Trustee of the meeting.
“For many years, I have been a trustee of my fund-the trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMG)-an inactive trustee. I am going to quit that position now. Like I do on the board of all companies except Berkshire,” Buffett said in a statement on Wednesday.
He also praised the foundation’s chief executive, Mark Suzman, as “outstanding” and stated that his goals “keep 100% in sync with the foundation’s goals”.
With $50 billion in donations, the Gates Foundation is not only the largest private charity, but also considered the most influential. It used Bill Gates’ huge wealth accumulated as a co-founder of Microsoft in campaigns to eradicate diseases such as polio and reduce child mortality.Its long-term commitment vaccine Make it a key player in the fight against coronavirus.
But when the Gates announced in early May that they would become end Their 27-year marriage. In a statement issued at the time, they insisted that they are still committed to the mission of the foundation and will “continue our work at the foundation.”
Some former employees and consultants questioned whether the institution, which the couple had dominated in their 21-year existence, could continue to be in its current state, given their split. Others believe that over the years, it has established enough institutional power to flourish no matter what. The foundation staff now exceeds 1,600.
In addition to the Gates Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates each engage in their own independent charitable activities. For example, in 2015, Melinda launched Pivotal Ventures, an investment tool designed to support gender equality.
Suzman, who was appointed as CEO last year, confirmed earlier this month that the Gates are Consider the possibility Add outside directors to the board of directors as part of “prudential planning for the future.”
In a note to employees on Wednesday, he acknowledged the uncertainty caused by Buffett’s resignation. “I know that Warren’s departure has raised questions about the governance of the foundation. As I mentioned before, I have been actively discussing ways to strengthen our governance with him, Bill, and Melinda,” he wrote, promising to More details will be provided in July.
Suzman also thanked Buffett for his latest donation-the $3.2 billion gift announced on Wednesday will bring his total donations to the foundation to nearly $33 billion.
In the same note, Melinda said that she “thanks Warren for his generosity, his leadership and his friendship”, while Bill paid tribute to his “lasting friendship” and said that the foundation “will always treat Warren Lun has a deep sense of responsibility and pays to pay close attention to the data to track our progress and identify areas where we can do better.”
Phil Buchanan, chairman of the Effective Philanthropy Center, questioned the timing of Buffett’s announcement, which is very close to the expected unveiling of further governance changes. He said: “In an ideal world, you can be at the same time as you announce a major departure. , But the world is not always ideal.”
Buchanan also reflected on the broader significance of any changes in institutions that dominate the philanthropy and public health fields.
He said: “As the world’s largest foundation, the governance of the Gates Foundation is of substantial significance in terms of rational decision-making, and it has symbolic significance in terms of its signal on institutional charity and its supervision and accountability.