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Foundation says Bill Gates can force Melinda French Gates to resign in two years

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says that Melinda French Gates can resign as co-chair of the foundation in two years.

Mark Suzman, CEO of the foundation, said in a statement that French Gates would resign if the two co-chairs determine that they could not work together after two years.

In that case, she would receive “personal resources” from Gates for her philanthropic work.

“[I]f after two years either one of them decides that they cannot continue to work together, Melinda will resign as co-chair and trustee,” Suzman said.

“In such a case, Melinda would receive personal resources from Bill for her philanthropic work. These resources would be completely separate from the foundation’s endowment, which would not be affected,” he said.

However, Suzman emphasized the co-chairs “have repeatedly made clear their joint commitment and expectation to remain long-term partners and co-chairs.”

The change is one of several to the foundation’s structure that Suzman outlined Wednesday.

However, The Hill reports that the fate of the foundation had been in question since Gates and French Gates — who also serve as the foundation’s trustees — announced their divorce in May. The foundation’s third trustee, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, resigned late last month.

Suzman also said that Gates and French Gates decided to expand the number of trustees that oversee the foundation’s work. The foundation plans to announce the new trustees in January 2022.

The foundation has worked toward multiple causes, including aiding in coronavirus response efforts, funding efforts for eradicating polio, and most recently committing $2.1 billion over five years for gender equality

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