Buffett
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Warren Buffet resigns post at Gates Foundation
Warren Buffett announced Wednesday that he's resigning from his position as trustee at the Gates Foundation, as the divorce of its founders, Bill and Melinda, casts uncertainty on the leadership of one of the world's largest charitable organizations.

Buffett, who's the eighth richest person in the world with a net worth of about $105 billion, pledged most of his fortune in 2006 to the Gates Foundation and to four other charitable trusts created by his family.

In a statement, Buffett downplayed the significance of his departure, which represents an about-face for the Gates Foundation. A spokesperson for the foundation told reporters last month after the Gateses announced their divorce that "no changes to their roles or the organization are planned." Buffett said:
"For years I have been a trustee - an inactive trustee at that - of only one recipient of my funds, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMG). I am now resigning from that post, just as I have done at all corporate boards other than Berkshire's."

The announcement comes nearly two months after Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage. The couple had led the Gates Foundation for two decades and directed billions of dollars toward charitable causes.

The announcement also comes weeks after new revelations surfaced about Bill Gates' behavior toward female employees, his personal relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and a toxic workplace culture at his longtime money manager Michael Larson's office.

Buffett added Wednesday:
"The CEO of BMG is Mark Suzman, an outstanding recent selection who has my full support. My goals are 100% in sync with those of the foundation, and my physical participation is in no way needed to achieve these goals."
Suzman acknowledged in a statement:
"Warren's departure raises questions about the foundation's governance. As I have mentioned previously, I have been actively discussing with him, Bill, and Melinda approaches to strengthen our governance to provide long-term stability and sustainability for the foundation's governance and decision-making in light of the recent announcement of Bill and Melinda's divorce. I plan to share additional information in July."
Buffett's departure leaves Bill and Melinda Gates the sole trustees of one of the most influential philanthropic organizations in the world, with a powerful endowment worth nearly $50 billion.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the Gates Foundation is considering forming a board and bringing in outside directors.

Gates' now-estranged wife, Melinda French Gates, has pushed for the changes to ensure the future stability of the foundation, the Journal reported, citing anonymous sources.

Melinda French Gates said in a statement that Buffett's "wisdom has been a guiding light through our foundation's second decade, and the things we've learned from him will continue to help us chart a way forward." Bill Gates added that Buffett "will continue to inspire our foundation as we work to fight poverty and help millions of people live healthier lives."

Buffett also announced Wednesday that he's donating another $4.1 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares to the Gates Foundation and the four other charitable organizations he supports. The donation marks the halfway point for Buffett, who pledged to donate all of his Berkshire shares through annual gifts to the foundations.

Buffett said Wednesday he now owns 238,624 shares, worth about $100 billion, down from the 474,998 shares he owned in 2006.

The Gates Foundation seeks to improve healthcare and reduce extreme poverty around the globe, while domestically working to expand educational opportunities and access to technology.

In 2008, Bill — who is worth an estimated $130 billion — left his day-to-day role at Microsoft, the company he co-founded, to devote more time to the foundation.

He officially stepped down from Microsoft's board last year, saying at the time that he was doing so to focus on philanthropy.

But the Wall Street Journal reported last month that the board was investigating allegations that Gates had a sexual relationship with a Microsoft employee that lasted for years. A spokeswoman for Gates admitted there was an affair over 20 years ago, and it "ended amicably."