Back in 2006, Warren Buffett pledged that he would give away all his Berkshire shares as annual gifts to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and NoVo Foundation. Today he has managed to keep half his promise after Warren Buffett officially announced that he is resigning as a trustee from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As of today, he owns approximately $100 billion worth of 238,624 shares of his company Berkshire Hathway.
Buffett said in a statement, “Today is a milestone for me. In 2006, I pledged to distribute all of my Berkshire Hathaway shares — more than 99 percent of my net worth — to philanthropy. With today’s $4.1 billion distribution, I’m halfway there. He continued, 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 (BMG). I am now resigning from that post, just as I have done at all corporate boards other than Berkshire’s. 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.” it should be known that had Buffett not made his generous donations, his fortune would roughly equal that of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person according to Forbes magazine.
The announcement comes weeks after Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage but would continue to run the foundation jointly. Buffett, on the other hand, gave no specific reason for stepping down from the Gates Foundation. Still, fingers are pointing towards its leadership structure after reports of Bill Gates’ behavior in the workplace.
Buffett, who is now 90, is also steering away from his leadership role at Berkshire Hathaway and positions on other corporate boards. This year, Buffet said that he would step down as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway too.
[Via – Reuters]