“We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
Bill Gates and his wife of 27 years, Melinda, announced in identical tweets that they are ending their marriage on Tuesday, May 4 (Manila Time).
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the couple wrote in a joint statement posted on Twitter.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
“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,” the pair added. “We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
The pair also asked for “space and privacy” for their family as they “begin to navigate this new life.”
Bill, an American business magnate and co-founder of Microsoft, is the fourth-richest man in the world with reportedly worth upward of $130 billion. He stepped down as a board member of Microsoft, founded with Paul Allen in 1975, in March 2020.
Working alongside Melinda, the two currently chair the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which grew into the world’s largest private charitable foundation. Since its founding in 2000, the foundation has funded numerous projects to reduce poverty and improve health in the developing world.
Shortly after the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a grinding halt, the Gates Foundation announced it would spend $300 million to fight the spread of COVID-19 and to develop new treatments and a vaccine.
During a business dinner in 1987, the couple met when Melinda Gates was a product manager at Microsoft. The pair then married around seven years later.