Warren Buffett has officially announced that he will be resigning as the trustee at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He has also vowed to donate $4.1 billion USD worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares, set to be split across five different foundations.
In 2006, 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. This year’s donation is set to mark the halfway point of Buffett’s promise. As of today, he owns approximately $100 billion USD worth in 238,624 shares.
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 discusses his decision to resign from the foundation in a highly public and tumultuous time for the couple adding that, “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.”
Buffett is currently Berkshire’s largest shareholder, owning 39 percent of the Class A shares. The specific class of shares has hit a record high, rebounding more than 20 percent in 2021, despite the pandemic.
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