Prior to his death on Monday, Microsoft's billionaire and co-founder, Paul Allen, invested large sums in technology projects, research projects, and philanthropy, some of which were multi-layered and highly speculative. What happens to these obligations now?
No one seems quite sure, save for his investment company's bare assurances.
Allen died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma complications in Seattle, according to his Vulcan Inc. company. He was 65 years old. He never married and had no children, and details of his estate are unknown.
Forbes recently estimated Allen's net worth at $ 20.3 billion. He used much of the money he got from Microsoft ̵
Allen's technology interests ranged from space travel and new energy sources to more conventional companies like Uber, Spotify, and smaller companies focused on financial technology and artificial intelligence. Allen previously invested more than $ 20 million in SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded and manned missile to reach the edge of space (but not in Earth orbit). This achievement was accomplished 2004.
One of Allen's esoteric ventures is Stratolaunch, which builds a huge twin-hull jet that aims to launch satellites from high altitudes. The vehicle still needs to make its first flight, although the company's vice president Mike Pence hosted his Mojave, California, hangar during a 2017 visit.
But Stratolaunch does not comment on its post-Allen future. A company representative turned down a comment saying, "Now is the time to focus on Paul's life and allow his family and friends to grieve."
Vulcan declined commenting on this insurance Many of the institutions he founded and supported would continue after being unable to run them. "The company's representatives refused to discuss details, but said that no planned changes were planned for the number of institutions and programs run and funded by Allen.
In the world of big ticket philanthropy, it is rare That a foundation has no obvious next generation followers, said Amir Pasic, dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.
"There was clearly no pre-programmed plan to introduce on the first day after his death," said Pasic. [Allen] Allen had been involved in many high-profile efforts, including commercial real estate, redesigning and even redesigning Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhoods for the Amazon.com urban campus, the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, and the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers Underwater expeditions financed made important shipwreck discoveries.
In the city is his Vermäc into a portfolio of research institutes, museums, school buildings, foundations and programs. Allen had spent more than $ 2 billion over the course of his life on education, science, technology, conservation, and community efforts. He has worked on climate change, advanced brain research, and supported his hometown of Seattle to finance homeless shelters and cultural institutions.
Allen was a strong supporter of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's "Giving Pledge" to donate the majority of their wealth to charity, said Jon Lazarus, a friend of Allen for more than three decades, with him on a number Technologies worked on projects.
Allen's "tactical" investments in brain research and artificial intelligence research, where he provided both leadership and money, were particularly noteworthy, Lazarus said. Allen clarified that the results of brain research, for example, should remain publicly available.
Allen's sister, Jody Allen, co-founded her 30-year-old Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. She is the director and president of the most recent 2016 IRS tax filing of the private charitable foundation, which indicates that it has net assets of $ 756 million, most of which is invested.
The next step is for the Board to vote on a new chair and changes to equipment or structure are likely to come out next month, which could be very significant in terms of focus and approach, said Jacob Harold, President of Guidestar , an organization that evaluates charitable organizations.
"Paul Allen had a very creative philanthropy that is not traditional," Harold said. "His personal stamp was more in his philanthropy than for many wealthy individuals."
Compared to other branded philanthropists, it is unclear whether Allen intended to spend his fortune vigorously to accelerate the programs – as his Microsoft counterpart Bill Gates has promised. The alternative would be that his money is immortalized through investment so that his foundation can continue to live indefinitely, as steel magnate Andrew Carnegie commanded more than a century ago.