June 23 (UPI) -- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Wednesday that he's resigned from the board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is giving away $4.1 billion to it and four other charities.
Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, said the donations are part of a commitment he made 15 years ago to give away all of company shares through yearly donations.
Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, said the new donations get him halfway to his goal.
"In June of 2006, I owned 474,998 'A' shares. Now, I own 238,624 shares, worth about $100 billion," Buffett said in a statement. "All remain destined for philanthropy."
The $4.1 billion will go to the Gates Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation.
In announcing his resignation from the Gates board, Buffett said he leaves the hard work to those involved directly with all of the nonprofits and was pleased with their efforts across various causes.
"To them, I've delegated the hard work," he said. "After 16 years of pursuing my philanthropic plan, I'm delighted with its workings. Each of the five foundations set its own course and the leaders of all five work hard and effectively. My own involvement has essentially been nil, which leaves me to do what I love."
Buffett emphasized that his resignation from the board is not a signal of retirement or that he's stepping back from investing.
"Please understand that these remarks are no swansong," he said. 'I continue at my enjoyable job, doing what I like."
"I still relish being on the field and carrying the ball. But I'm clearly playing in a game that, for me, has moved past the fourth quarter into overtime."
Berkshire A shares have hit a record high this year, with many of the businesses under its umbrella bouncing back from hardships inflicted by COVID-19 in 2020.