Bill, Melinda Gates decide to end their marriage of 27 years
Seattle: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates have decided to end their marriage of 27 years. They filed for divorce on Monday, saying they had reached an agreement on how to divide their assets. However, the couple said in a tweet that they would continue to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private charitable foundation.
"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," the two said in a statement posted on each of their individual Twitter accounts.
"We have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives," they said.
"We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life," they said.
Bill Gates (65) was formerly the world's richest person. Now, he is the world's fourth-richest person with a net worth of $130.5 billion, according to Forbes.
How the couple end up settling their estate and any impact on the foundation will be closely watched, especially after another high-profile Seattle-area billionaire couple recently ended their marriage.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos finalised their divorce in 2019. MacKenzie Scott has since remarried and now focuses on her own philanthropy after receiving a 4 per cent stake in Amazon, worth more than $36 billion. The Gateses were married in 1994 in Hawaii. They met after she began working at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987.
In her 2019 memoir, "The Moment of Lift", Melinda Gates, who is 56, wrote about her childhood, life and private struggles as the wife of a public icon and stay-at-home mom with three kids.
She won Bill Gates' heart after meeting at a work dinner, sharing a mutual love of puzzles and beating him at a math game. The sprawling Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment worth nearly $50 billion. It has focused on global health and development and US education issues since incorporating in 2000.