Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation names new CEO

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 10:16 AM
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation names new CEO

SEATTLE (Reuters) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said on Tuesday its new Chief Executive would be Susan Desmond-Hellmann, an oncologist and public health expert who is currently the chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

She will take up the post from May 1, after the departure of the previous CEO Jeff Raikes, a former Microsoft Corp, executive who announced his plan to retire in September.

The world's largest private philanthropy organization, with a $40 billion endowment, aims to tackle disease and poverty in the developing world and improve education in the United States.

Desmond-Hellmann has led UCSF since 2009. Before that, she was president of product development at biotech pioneer Genentech, where she led the development of two of the first gene-based cancer drugs Avastin and Herceptin.

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, and his wife Melinda are co-chairs of the foundation, as is Gates' father. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is a major donor and trustee.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Alden Bentley)