Warren Buffett is resigning from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a trustee.
According to the millionaire, he has been an “inactive trustee” at the charity to which he donates for years.
“I am now retiring from that position, as I have done with all other business boards save Berkshire’s,” Warren Buffett said in remarks accompanying his annual donation of Berkshire Hathaway stock to five organizations.
Mr. Buffett’s departure from the Gates Foundation board of directors comes at a perilous moment for the organization, after the announcement of founders Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates’ desire to divorce. According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Gates and Ms. French Gates are contemplating restructuring their foundation in order to increase governance and independence following their announcement in May that they were divorcing
A Long History
For two decades, the duo has overseen the Gates Foundation, allocating billions of dollars to more than a dozen causes, including polio eradication, infectious illnesses, gender equality, education in the United States, and agriculture development.
The Berkshire chairman and CEO Warren Buffet made the revelation Wednesday in a statement outlining his views on philanthropy, government, and the public. Additionally, he stated that he is donating $4.1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock to the five charities.
Mr. Buffett had served on the foundation’s board of trustees since 2006. Mr. Buffett’s generosity benefited five organizations, including the Gates Foundation. Mr. Buffett stated that he is halfway through his 2006 promise to donate all of his Berkshire shares — more than 99 percent of his net wealth — to charity.
“Over the course of several decades, I have amassed an almost unfathomable sum just by doing what I enjoy,” Mr. Buffett explained. “Compound interest, a long runway, excellent companions, and our magnificent nation have all done their magic.”
Mr. Warren Buffett again emphasized the importance of tax deductions, “especially for the ultra-rich,” who contribute massive quantities of cash or securities to philanthropy. His statement came in response to ProPublica, a nonprofit journalism organization, publishing data about some of the wealthiest Americans’ reported income and tax payments, including Mr. Buffett and Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.