Melinda French Gates to resign from the Gates Foundation

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 23: US philanthropist Melinda French Gates arrives for a meeting at the Elysee Palace, amid the New Global Financial Pact Summit in Paris on June 23, 2023 in Paris, France. The French president hosted a summit of political and bu

Melinda French Gates announced Monday that she is stepping down from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Her last day as co-chair of the foundation will be June 7, which she said isn't a decision she "came to lightly."

"This is not a decision I came to lightly," French Gates posted on the X platform on Monday. "I am immensely proud of the foundation that Bill and I built together and of the extraordinary work it is doing to address inequities around the world."

French Gates and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates ended their 27-year marriage in August 2021. 

She praised the foundation's CEO, Mark Suzman, and the foundation's board of trustees, which was significantly expanded after the couple announced their divorce in May 2021.

"The time is right for me to move forward into the next chapter of my philanthropy," French Gates wrote in her statement. She organizes some of her investments and philanthropic gifts through her organization, Pivotal Ventures, which is not a nonprofit.

Bill Gates thanked French Gates for her "critical" contributions to the foundations in a statement, saying, "I am sorry to see her leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in her future philanthropic work."

French Gates will receive $12.5 billion as part of her agreement with Gates, which she said would commit to future work focused on women and families.

The Gates Foundation did not immediately return a request for comment about whether those assets would come from the foundation itself. In an emailed statement, the foundation said that Suzman announced the decision to employees on Monday.

The Gates Foundation holds $75.2 billion in its endowment as of December 2023, and announced in January, it planned to spend $8.6 billion through the course of its work in 2024.

FOX Business and the Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.