Melinda French Gates will depart the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in two years if she and her ex-partner are unable to work together, the foundation has revealed.
The couple set up the charitable foundation in 2000 with a goal of helping people lead healthy, productive lives - in particular in developing countries. It has committed US$55 billion (AU$74 billion) to the cause since its birth.
However its leadership has had a question mark next to it since the Gates’ announced their divorce in May.
The foundation this week confirmed that the two will continue as co-chairs of the foundation for two years, after which French Gates will depart if she can no longer work with Gates.
If she does resign, Gates will provide “personal resources” for philanthropy separate to the foundation.
“Gates and French Gates are fully committed to continuing to work constructively together at the foundation to advance its program and policy objectives,” the foundation said in a statement.
“However, they have also agreed to an additional step to ensure the continuity of the foundation’s work: if after two years either decides they cannot continue to work together as co-chairs, French Gates will resign her position as co-chair and trustee.”
French Gates said she was “deeply proud” of what the foundation has accomplished, and she remains “fully committed” to her role as co-chair.
The foundation will also take on new trustees to expand its perspectives and ensure sustainability and stability of the foundation.
As it stands, Gates and French Gates are the only trustees on the foundation, bar investment leader Warren Buffett who announced his plans to resign in June.
“These governance changes bring more diverse perspectives and experience to the foundation’s leadership,” French Gates said.
“I’m grateful to the foundation’s leadership team, employees, and partners for their dedication to making the world healthier and more just,” Gates wrote in a tweet after the announcement.Follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to the free Fully Briefed daily newsletter.