What will happen to Gates Foundation after Bill Gates & Melinda Gates divorce?
Yesterday, news of Bill Gates’s divorce from Melinda Gates made many rounds on social media. After the last multi-billion dollar divorce of Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott, people were curious about how would their estate be divided. More than anything else, the future of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was in question – which is arguably one of the biggest charitable organizations in the world.
Yesterday, Bill Gates shared the news of his divorce from his official Twitter account. Furthermore, Melinda Gates also :
Over the last 27 years, 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 the next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.
Moreover, their 25-year-old daughter Jennifer Gates posted on Instagram:
It’s been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family. I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions
How did the couple meet?
Bill Gates met Melinda Gates back in 1987, when Melinda joined Microsoft as a product manager and the two sat together at a business dinner in the same year in New York. While talking to Netflix in a documentary, Bill said:
We cared a lot for each other and there were only two possibilities: either, we were going to break up or we were going to get married.
Moreover, Melinda Gates recalled that Bill was quite methodical in every aspect of his life, including matters of the heart. She said he even made a “pros and the cons of getting married”. The couple got married later in Hawaii in 1994. Last year, Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s board to focus more on philanthropy. And that brings us to the question: What will now happen to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation?
After Bill Gates’s divorce, what will become of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation?
The Gates Foundation, established in 2000, is one of the biggest philanthropic organizations in the world, focusing primarily on public health, education, and climate change. Furthermore, it played an important role during the COVID-19 pandemic as well, receiving grants of around $1.75 Billion. The foundation has net assets that amount to more than $43 billion, with Bill Gates and Melinda Gates pumping around $36 billion till 2018. This raised questions about the foundation in light of the divorce. However, it looks like things will remain unchanged, as the Gates Foundation said in a separate statement:
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.
Furthermore, David Callahan told the BBC that he doesn’t see Bill Gates’s divorce having any impact on the foundation, saying:
They have built this from the ground up, over the last 20 years, they share a deep commitment to it. The work of the foundation is likely to go on. This is not some small family foundation that’s going to fall apart because a marriage is falling apart.