Bill and Melinda Gates to Divorce

Bill and Melinda Gates to Divorce

Given how significant this is, will it have an impact on the foundation?

On the phone:

Right now, their line is that it will not impact the foundation, we’ve been told they’re going to remain co-chairs and trustees, they’re going to be no changes to their rules or the organization, and they’re going to continue to work together, which is also what they said in their statement. However, you know, working alongside your spouse might prove to be difficult. So who knows if there will eventually be changes? It’s not uncommon, we’ve been told, for wealthy people to end up splitting the foundation into when something like this happens.

Ask

So just to talk about the stake here, one hundred and forty five point eight billion dollars in terms of the fortune as well as, as you’ve already mentioned, this sprawling philanthropy operation as well. So how how  does this happen? How does this work out?

On the phone:

They live in Washington State, which is a community property state, which means that anything they acquired while they were married is equitable. It’s both Bills and Melendez and they very well could split it 50/50. However, what we saw with Mackenzie, Scott and Jeff Bezos is a divorce in 2019, also in Washington State. That’s not what ended up happening. Jeff ended up getting 75 percent of the Amazon stake and Mackenzie got 25 percent. So right now, we’re not sure what’s going to end up happening with Fortune and how it’s going to be split. And we’re also not sure on how long it’s going to take. It depends on whether they’ve already filed. There’s a 90-day holding period before they can actually dissolve the marriage. So we don’t know where they are in that process either so far.

Ask

Any idea what happened to.

On the phone:

 No, no, I have no no clue you.

Ask

So, of course, we’ve talked about the inevitable comparisons to the other big tech billionaires split Mackenzie and Jeff Bezos, of course, or Mackenzie Scott, I should say, now back in twenty nineteen. How does this compare in terms of the complexity and whether that precedent could give us an indication of what happens here?

On the phone:

Yeah, there are definitely a lot of similarities and a lot of differences between the two couples.

Obviously, they are both tech billionaires who live in Washington and but the Amazon fortune that was held by Jack McKenzie was much more straightforward. Most of his wealth was held in Amazon. They had a 16 percent stake. Jeff got three quarters of it. And McKenzie got for it would end up being four percent of it. So that was pretty straightforward. The the Gates fortune is not so straightforward. There’s the Microsoft holdings, which only make up about 26 billion dollars of that total 146 billion dollars. And then it’s split up among a bunch of other things. So how that’s going to be split up could get complicated to.

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