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Warren Buffett Resigns From Gates Foundation Board

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

In another potential indicator of how public opinion has turned against Bill Gates in the weeks since he and his now ex-wife Melinda Gates disclosed their divorce plans, financier Warren Buffett has resigned as a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett’s position on the board was a major PR coup for the foundation, which is one of the world’s biggest charitable enterprises.

Buffett, now 90, announced his decision to step down from the Gates Foundation board in a statement that also announced he had reached the halfway point in giving his Berkshire Hathaway shares to charity. Buffett gave away another $4.1 billion in Berkshire shares to give foundations.

In a statement shared with CNBC, Buffett said he was resigning from the Gates Foundation board “just as I have done at all corporate boards other than Berkshire’s”.

“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. I am now resigning from that post, just as I have done at all corporate boards other than Berkshire’s,” Buffett said in a statement. “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.”

While it’s true that Buffett has slowly been pulling back from his non-Berkshire activities for years now, the timing of his departure from the Gates Foundation board is certainly curious. As Buffett himself concedes, he was an “inactive” member of the board. The board includes two other members, Bill and Melinda. Maybe Buffett simply couldn’t stomach the awkwardness at board meetings.

Melinda Gates reportedly divorced her husband over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, something that Buffett has been mum about – though Warren Buffett was never tied to Epstein like many other titans of American business and finance have been.

Buffett has contributed $27 billion to the Gates Foundation over the past 15 years. Mark Suzman, the foundation’s chief executive officer, told employees last month that he was in talks to strengthen “the long-term sustainability and stability of the foundation.”

Suzman “is an outstanding recent selection who has my full support,” Buffett said. Suzman has insisted that both Bill and Melinda remain committed to the Foundation even after their divorce.


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