Impact of Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce
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Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce on Monday.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the couple said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“We have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.”
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
After the news of Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce breaking on Monday, speculation about the future of their foundation is widespread.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been a worldwide participant in philanthropy since its inception more than 20 years ago. So, what happens when “Bill and Melinda” are no longer together?
According to Benjamin Soskis, co-founder and editor of HistPhil, a site devoted to the past of philanthropy, the foundation “is the most important philanthropic foundation in the world” in terms of finances and impact. “To the extent that this will have an effect on the foundation itself, it’s of immense consequence.”
Bill and Melinda Gates will remain co-chairs and trustees, according to a spokesperson for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “No changes to their roles or the organization are planned. They will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation’s issues, and set the organization’s overall direction.”
According to its website, the Gates Foundation employs 1,602 people. The foundation has a $49.8 billion endowment and had granted $54.8 billion in payments by the end of 2019.
In a joint tweet on Monday, the pair said that they believe in the foundation’s goal and will continue to work together there.
Community health and vaccination, gender equity services, industrial growth and nutrition in low-income nations, and developing schooling in the United States are only few of the fields that the foundation provides grants. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the company has spent at least $1.75 billion in the fight against the outbreak, assisting in the manufacture and procurement of medicinal supplies.
Following Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott’s breakup declaration in 2019, this is the second high-profile divorce of the world’s wealthiest citizens in recent years.
MacKenzie became one of the world’s wealthiest women almost instantly after the couple’s interest in Amazon.com Inc. was separated. In the months that followed, she rose to become one of the world’s most powerful philanthropists, donating billions of dollars to charities that are mostly forgotten by billionaire donors.
The Gates fortune could be more difficult to dissect than Bezos’, which was mostly concentrated in Amazon stock.
Bill Gates’ net worth began with Microsoft, but the company’s stock now accounts for fewer than 20% of his total assets. Over the years, he’s shifted a large portion of his stake into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, though his exact stake hasn’t been revealed after he quit Microsoft’s board last year.
Cascade Investment, which Gates established with the profits of Microsoft stock purchases and dividends and is managed by Michael Larson, is Gates’ most valuable asset. Gates has investments in real estate, oil, and hospitality by Cascade, as well as holdings in scores of public corporations, including Canadian National Railway and Deere & Company.
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