Warren Buffett (Image: Getty Images)
US billionaire Warren Buffett announced on Wednesday that he is stepping down from all jobs within the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, while continuing to contribute financially.
The 90-year-old businessman explains in a press release that he has been a “passive director” for years at this charity and has already relinquished the position on all other boards he was a member of, except for his corporate board Berkshire Hathaway.
He offered no further explanation for his departure, which comes a few weeks after the news of Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce was announced.
Mr. Buffett, whose fortune Forbes estimates at $104 billion, however plans to continue providing funding.
“My goals are in 100% line with the goals of the Foundation and my physical participation is in no way necessary to achieve these goals,” he said.
Founded in 2000, the Foundation has grown over the years to become the world’s most powerful private charitable foundation, having funded various projects totaling $53.8 billion.
Mr. Buffett committed in 2006 to distribute all of his shares in Berkshire, or 99% of his fortune, to charity.
With its annual contribution revealed Wednesday — the equivalent of $4.1 billion to five charities — “I’m halfway” from that goal, he said.
At the head of the Berkshire Hathaway Company which oversees about sixty companies ranging from the insurance company Gekko To the battery manufacturer DuracellMr. Buffett had indicated in May that he intended to appoint Greg Appel as his successor when he stepped down. But he did not say when that would happen.
Bill Gates, former president of Microsoft A close friend of Mr. Buffett’s, his image was tarnished after it was revealed that he had divorced after 27 years with Melinda.
Particularly highlighted is his links to financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of sexually assaulting dozens of minors in his luxury residences before they were found hanged in his cell in August 2019.