Warren Buffett announced in a letter Wednesday that he had donated $4.1 billion in stock of his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, as part of his long-standing commitment to donate most of his massive fortune to charity.
As part of the announcement, Buffett also said that he is stepping down as a trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world and the foundation that has received the bulk of Buffett's charity since 2006.
In 2006, Buffett pledged to donate 99% of his net worth to charity. On Wednesday, Buffett said he was "halfway there" — noting that he currently owns 238,624 "A" shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock, compared to the 474,998 shares he owned in 2006.
Buffett added that despite his resignation from the Gates Foundation, his goals remain "100% in sync with those of the foundation," and that the charity's new CEO Mark Suzman has his "full support."
Buffett did not get into specifics regarding his decision to step down as a trustee. His decision to step away comes as Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is in the midst of a divorce with his wife, Melinda. Their divorce has spawned critical reports of Bill Gates' workplace conduct and extramarital affairs.
Buffett added in his letter that he had been an "inactive" trustee of the Gates Foundation and that his resignation came after he had resigned from all other corporate boards other than Berkshire Hathaway.
According to Yahoo, Bill Gates stepped down from the board at Berkshire Hathaway in March 2020. He also stepped down from Microsoft's board at that time.
Buffett has been making 16 annual charitable donations of Berkshire Hathaway stock since his 2006 promise. In that 2006 pledge, Buffett said five-sixths of his contributions would go to the Gates Foundation. The rest would go to foundations headed by Buffett's three children, Susan, Howard, and Peter, and to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, according to a report from Fortune.
In 2010, Buffett and the Gateses established "The Giving Pledge," an "open invitation" to billionaires to give the vast majority of their fortunes to charity.