NEW YORK (NEWSnet/AP) — Melinda French Gates will step down as co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“This is not a decision I came to lightly,” French Gates posted on X. “I am immensely proud of the foundation that Bill and I built together and of the extraordinary work it is doing to address inequities around the world.”

She praised the foundation’s CEO, Mark Suzman, and the foundation’s board of trustees. The board was expanded significantly after the couple announced their divorce in May 2021.

“The time is right for me to move forward into the next chapter of my philanthropy,” French Gates wrote.

She organizes some of her investments and philanthropic gifts through her organization, Pivotal Ventures, which is not a nonprofit.

Bill Gates thanked French Gates for her “critical” contributions to the foundations.

“I am sorry to see her leave, but I am sure she will have a huge impact in her future philanthropic work.”

French Gates will receive $12.5 billion as part of her agreement with Gates. She plans to use it toward work focused on women and families.

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