Gates Foundation staff are ‘freaking out’ about the nonprofit’s future as Bill and Melinda divorce, an insider reportedly said

Bill Gates Melinda Gates
Bill and Melinda Gates head up the Gates Foundation. LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

A former top executive at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has said that staff are “freaking out” about the nonprofit’s future, according to a report in the Financial Times.

“I think people are freaking out a little bit,” the unnamed former insider told the newspaper. “People are really worried that the credibility and standing of the foundation is in jeopardy now, especially in areas like gender empowerment.”

Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, who co-chair the foundation, announced their divorce in May after 27 years of marriage. An investigation by Insider later found that Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, was an office bully who pursued sexual affairs.

The Financial Times on Sunday reported hearing “murmurs of dissent and doubts” about the organization’s future.

Insider has reached out to the foundation for comment.

On Wednesday, the foundation announced that it would add trustees, saying those new voices would help drive its “strategic direction.” Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates also committed another $15 billion to the foundation.

“These new resources and the evolution of the foundation’s governance will sustain this ambitious mission and vital work for years to come,” Gates said Wednesday.

French Gates said: “I believe deeply in the foundation’s mission and remain fully committed as co-chair to its work.”

However, the release also signaled a shaky bond at the foundation’s highest level, with Gates and French Gates agreeing to only a two-year committement as co-chairs.

The press statement said the decision for both to remain was to “ensure the continuity of the foundation’s work.”

But, it said that “if after two years either decides they cannot continue to work together as co-chairs, French Gates will resign her position as co-chair and trustee.”