The foundation currently has three trustees: Gates, French Gates, and the billionaire investor Warren Buffett. The couple are discussing both adding a board and bringing in outside directors, The Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the couple.
The foundation has more than 1,600 staff members and is one of the world’s biggest philanthropic foundations, with an endowment of $49.8 billion as of 2019.
The foundation, which the couple set up in 2000, hasn’t made any changes to its governance yet, CEO Mark Suzman told the publication.
And the couple, who announced their divorce May 3 after 27 years of marriage, still plan on working together at the foundation, Suzman added.
Gates’ reputation has taken a hit from a flurry of scandals that have emerged since the divorce announcement — including an office affair, allegations of an “uncomfortable” workplace behavior, and ties to Epstein. A growing number of reports suggest a rocky relationship between the philanthropist couple in recent years, contrasting with their public statements.
Suzman: The couple remain committed to the foundation
But Suzman told The Journal that he, Gates, French Gates, and Buffett were discussing options to “strengthen the long-term sustainability and stability of the foundation given the cochairs’ divorce.” He said no decisions had been made.
“Bill and Melinda have reaffirmed their commitment to the foundation and continue to work together on behalf of our mission,” he said. “These discussions are part of their prudent planning for the future.”