Warren Buffett, announced Wednesday that he will resign as a trustee of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The billionaire also announced that he will donate $4.1 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares, according to CNBC. The donation marks the halfway point for Berkshire’s largest shareholder who in 2006 pledged to give away all his Berkshire shares through annual gifts to numerous foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (RELATED: Hart: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Crumbles)
In 2006, Buffett owned 474,998 Berkshire A shares, according to CNBC. Today, he said he owns 238,624 shares, worth an estimated $100 billion.
Aside from his donation, Buffett also announced he would be stepping down as a trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropies in the world. Buffett was not specific about why he is resigning from the Gates Foundation, Vox reported. Buffett had been an “inactive trustee” for years. He has also resigned from all corporate boards other than Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffett’s resignation from the foundation comes at an uncertain time after founders Bill Gates & Melinda French Gates announced their intention to divorce in May. Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported Gates and French Gates were discussing changes to the structure of the foundation. (RELATED: Report: Bill And Melinda Gates Don’t Have A Prenup)
Co-owner of the foundation, Bill Gates, took to Twitter after the announcement to share his thoughts on Buffett, thanking the mogul for his “enduring friendship.”
I am truly grateful for his wisdom and leadership, and most of all for his enduring friendship. Warren will continue to inspire our foundation as we work to fight poverty and help millions of people live healthier lives. https://t.co/qYYl1APURx
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) June 23, 2021
In a statement outlined by CNBC, Buffett explained that even though he was parting from the foundation physically, the foundation and its work still has his 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,” Buffett said.
Buffett also spoke on the future of philanthropy and shares after the pandemic.
“I’m optimistic. Though naysayers abound — as they have throughout my life — America’s best days most certainly lie ahead,” Buffett said.
“Philanthropy will continue to pair human talent with financial resources. So, too, will business and government. Each force has its particular strengths and weaknesses. Combined, they will make the world a better place — a much better place — for future generations.”