Billionaire Bill Gates said that he and ex-wife Melinda French Gates will run their foundation “together forever” despite an acrimonious and public divorce last year.

The Microsoft co-founder made the statement Wednesday after announcing that he and his ex-wife are making a $20 billion donation to their charity.

“I think all the evidence I see says that we’ll be able to run the foundation together forever,” Gates told Forbes.

“The good news is that even during the tough times of divorce, which are fortunately now more than a year behind us, we were able to work constructively at the foundation. It’s always surprised me how much Melinda and I agree on foundation stuff,” he said.

“And we have a few things where she knows better than I and we just support each other.”

Gates added: “She gets to speak for herself, but everything I see says that, ‘Hey, we’re the great partnership running the foundation, we’ve always been.’”

In total, the pair have donated $55 billion to their foundation, making them the biggest philanthropists of all time.

The Microsoft co-founder announced that he and Melinda French Gates were donating $20 billion to their foundation.
The Microsoft co-founder announced that he and Melinda French Gates were donating $20 billion to their foundation.
Disney General Entertainment Con

Gates’ good friend, billionaire investor Warren Buffett, has given away $48 billion and earmarked another $8 billion — most of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Buffett, 91, has given instructions that the money be deployed within 10 years of his death.

The pair’s $20 billion gift, which will be transferred to the foundation this month, will boost the charity’s spending by 50%, bringing it up to $9 billion per year by 2026.

“This is going to supercharge or accelerate, charge, turbocharge basically all the work that we do,” Gates told Forbes.

He told the news site that he intends to “give while he lives” — pledging more of his wealth so that he’ll be off Forbes’ billionaires’ list by the time he dies.

Gates’ wealth was pegged by Forbes at $129 billion before the $20 billion gift, which will knock him down to seventh from fourth on its list of the world’s wealthiest people.

“I’ll get myself out of the highly visible part of the list with just say two more gifts of this magnitude. I would get myself off the top part of the list,” Gates said.

“Getting all the way off the list, that’s going to take me a while, but my direction of travel is clear.”

The future of the charity was thrown into question last year due to the couple's divorce.
The future of the charity was thrown into question last year due to the couple’s divorce.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

During divorce proceedings, Melinda agreed to walk away from the foundation if it became apparent that the pair would be unable to work together.

Earlier this year, she indicated that she would abandon plans to give away the bulk of her fortune to the foundation.

French Gates had committed to giving the bulk of her personal fortune — estimated at around $11 billion — to the charity, one of the world’s largest with more than $50 billion in assets.

But now she will spread the money around to other philanthropic causes.

The couple finalized their divorce last August. In a December blog post, Bill Gates described 2021 as the “most unusual and difficult year of my life.”

Gates has faced scrutiny in recent months over allegations that he engaged in inappropriate relationships with subordinates during his time at Microsoft.

Earlier this year, the company announced an independent probe into its handling of the investigation into the allegations.



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