Warren Buffett announced he plans to donate $4.1 billion worth of his Berkshire Hathaway shares to five foundations and will resign as the trustee at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday (June 23).
CNBC reports the donation marked the halfway point for Buffett, 90, who initially pledged to give away all of his Berkshire shares through annual gifts to the Gates' foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation in 2006.
Buffett owned 474,998 Berkshire A shares in 2006 and said he currently owns 238,624 shares, which is estimated to be valued at about $100 billion.
“Today is a milestone for me,” Buffett said in a statement obtained by CNBC. “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's sizable donation to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation comes after the namesake couple recently announced their decision to end their marriage of 27 years.
“For years I have been a trustee — an inactive trustee at that — of only one recipient of my funds, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMG). I am now resigning from that post, just as I have done at all corporate boards other than Berkshire’s,” Buffett said in the statement. “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.”
Bill and Melinda Gates, who announced their divorce in May, worked alongside Buffett to create the Giving Pledge, a program requiring participants to donate more than half of their wealth.
Buffett said his 16 annual contributions to the five organizations since making the pledge has totaled more than $41 billion in donations.
Buffett is Berkshire's largest shareholder, holding about 39% of its Class A shares, according to FactSet via CNBC.