Bill and Melinda Gates Are Divorcing
While the Gateses did not provide details on how they would structure their finances, it is believed that they have a marriage agreement. The Gateses are the largest farmland owners in America and have huge investments, despite Cascade Investment, which manages Mr. Gates’ personal wealth, and has large stakes in the Four Seasons hotel chain, the Canadian National Railway, and AutoNation, the country’s largest car dealership chain , owns, among other companies. The family’s homes and land include a 66,000-square-foot Washington state mansion that has amenities like a trampoline room, screening room, and a multi-room library filled with rare documents and artifacts.
Mr. Callahan said Ms. Gates, 56, could become even more influential in the years to come.
She already has her own company, Pivotal Ventures, which she has invested in to invest in women’s economic empowerment issues. (Mr. Gates has his own private office, Gates Ventures, to pursue interests outside the foundation.) Should she receive any of the Microsoft stakes from Mr. Gates, she could start a new foundation or give direct gifts to others she sponsors Purposes.
“You could imagine Melinda Gates being a much more progressive giver herself,” said Mr. Callahan. “She will be an important force in philanthropy for decades to come.”
In 2019, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and longtime wife MacKenzie Scott divorced. Ms. Scott received $ 36 billion worth of Amazon stock at the time and immediately set out to make billions of dollars in direct grants to a variety of progressive organizations.
Mr. Gates recently resigned from some of his business activities. Last year he left the board of directors of Microsoft and the board of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate of his close friend Warren Buffett.
Mr. Buffett has donated billions of dollars to the Gates Foundation over the years and has pledged to leave most of his fortune to the foundation when he dies. In 2010, Mr. Buffett and the Gateses founded the Giving Pledge to encourage wealthy individuals to donate much of their money to charity.