Melinda Gates resigns from the Post Co. board of directors

By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 12, 2010; 8:54 PM

Melinda French Gates, philanthropist and wife of billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has resigned from the Washington Post Co. board of directors, the company announced Friday.

Gates, a former Microsoft manager who runs the multibillion-dollar Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband, had joined the board in 2004.

She did not give a reason for stepping down. A family spokesman said she was spending more time than before working and traveling for the foundation.

The Post board's chairman, Donald E. Graham, said it is "sad at losing her."

The Post's Kaplan education unit has come under harsh scrutiny in news reports quoting former Kaplan employees who said that they had been instructed to use the Gates name to persuade students to take classes at the company.

Gates said in a statement released by The Post that she has "been impressed with The Washington Post Company's work with Kaplan, whose new approaches to education are allowing students opportunities that would otherwise not be possible."

She also said the "mission" of The Post "remains as vital today as at any time in its history."

Gates and her husband are close to Warren E. Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway company owns about 24 percent of the Post Co. Buffett has pledged to donate much of his fortune to the Gates Foundation.

The Post's board, which includes Buffett, now has 11 members.

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