Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates may have been separated from each other, but their philanthropic and professional work will continue as they reportedly had an agreement regarding their foundation.

According to The Associated Press, the estranged couple will continue working as co-chairs at "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" despite their ongoing divorce. (via ABC News)

Things won't remain that way because after two years, if the pair decided not to continue with their roles, French Gates will let go of her positions as co-chair and trustee of the board.

In case it happens, Gates would be buying her out from the charitable group. Still, her estranged husband will continue to provide her resources to continue doing philanthropic work independently.

CEO Mark Suzman recently spoke to The Associated Press to reveal that the ex-couple's decision is for their transparency and it's a part of a "private agreement."

Suzman added the pair intended to be a long-time part of the board as they already planned it back then.

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Does Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plan to hire new members of the board?

Per the CEO, the foundation is planning to expand and open positions for the board of trustees; at the time of this writing, Suzman did not name anyone they think fit the roles.

Today, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates are the only members of the board as Warren Buffet resigned last month. Suzman added that Buffet's exit made them decide to expand the board.

The CEO mentioned that even though the ex-couple continue to work together, he believes that it isn't going to be "optimal governance."

"this is the right time to expand the number of trustees and bring in some independent and thoughtful outside voices who can help guide and strengthen the foundation over the long-term." Suzman stated.

The foundation's COO and chief legal officer, Connie Collingsworth, along with Suzman, will be the ones to find new trustees. However, they also need Gates and French Gates' approval.

The foundation hopes that their announcement would reach philanthropy experts who called out the charitable group in the past years because of the lack of diversity. They believe few people on the board mean more power for the trustees.

However, Suzman clarified their decision is not affected by outside opinions as Gates and French Gates, along with Warren Buffet, had already talked about the process when the Berkshire Hathaway CEO stepped down from his position.

New members will be announced early next year.

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