Warren Buffett resigns as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation trustee
Billionaire Warren Buffett on Wednesday announced that he has resigned as a trustee at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett also donated $4.1 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares to charity, reaching the halfway mark for donating all of his Berkshire shares as vowed. Bill and Melinda Gates had announced their divorce this May after 27 years of marriage. Here are more details.
'No swan song; still relish being on field'
"My goals are 100% in sync with those of the foundation," said Buffett in a statement on Wednesday. "In June of 2006, I owned 474,998 "A" shares. Now, I own 238,624 shares, worth about $100 billion," he said. "Please understand that these remarks are no swan song," he added. "I still relish being on the field and carrying the ball."
Today is a milestone for me: Buffett
"Today is a milestone for me," said Buffett, Berkshire's chairperson and CEO, "In 2006, I pledged to distribute all of my Berkshire Hathaway shares — more than 99% of my net worth — to philanthropy. With today's $4.1 billion distribution, I'm halfway there." Buffett announced that he will donate $4.1 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway shares to five foundations.
'Mark Suzman outstanding recent selection as BMG CEO'
Buffett said, "The CEO of BMG is Mark Suzman, an outstanding recent selection who has my full support. My goals are 100% in sync with those of the foundation, and my physical participation is in no way needed to achieve these goals."
Buffett addressed criticism over paying less taxes
On Tuesday, Buffett's note also addressed criticism after a ProPublica investigation using Internal Revenue Service data revealed that the billionaire investor was paying 0.1% in taxes. Buffett reiterated that his $41 billion of contributions to five foundations has produced about 40 cents of tax savings per $1,000 donated. "That's because I have relatively little income," the billionaire investor said.
'My wealth remains almost entirely deployed in tax-paying businesses'
He said, "My wealth remains almost entirely deployed in tax-paying businesses that I own through my Berkshire stockholdings, and Berkshire regularly reinvests earnings to further grow its output, employment, and earnings. The income I receive from other assets allows me to live as I wish."
Buffett, Gates have been longtime friends
Over the past 15 years, Buffett has contributed over $27 billion of his own money to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett has no involvement in the endowment's investment decisions. Buffett and Bill Gates have been friends for a long time. Gates has also served on Berkshire's board. Last year, he had announced that he would be stepping down from the post.