Gates Foundation head announces her departure

Gates Foundation head announces her departure

News

Eleven years and $39bn on, Patty Stonesifer has announced that she is stepping down as chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A former Microsoft executive, Stonesifer, who left the software company to help the Gates’ with their giving in 1997, announced she will officially leave in early 2009. In the meantime she will help the foundation’s co-founders, Bill and Melinda Gates, find a replacement.

From small beginnnings based in a rented office above a pizza restaurant and with one employee, Stonesifer steered the foundation’s charitable effort to help libraries in the United States gain access to the Internet. Today the foundation has 535 employees, $38.7bn in assets and awards grants to fight poverty worldwide, support global health, and improve American education.

She receives no salary for her work at the foundation, and plans to continue to be involved, overseeing a new grant-making project.