Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, said in a tweet on Monday that he and his wife of 27 years, Melinda Gates, have decided to end their marriage.
Gates mentioned in the tweet that the two of them will continue to work together at their foundation, and as for the reason for the divorce, he simply said that things were no longer compatible between the two of the, and requested for privacy from people.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” Bill and Melinda Gates wrote in a statement that Bill Gates tweeted out.
“Over the last 27 years, 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. 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. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”, Gates wrote.
The journey of Bill Gates and Melinda Gates
Bill and Melinda Gates both worked at Microsoft, and Melinda had been a marketing manager at the software company. The two met in 1987 after Melinda got hired as a product manager at Microsoft. Three weeks into her job, she traveled to New York for work, where she met Gates. “It took him quite a few months before he asked me out,” Melinda Gates later said. Bill Gates had weighed the pros and cons on a blackboard, and in 1994 the couple were married in Hawaii.
In a 2019 documentary titled Inside Bill’s Brain, Bill Gates talked about how Melinda is a truly equal partener. “She’s a lot like me in that she is optimistic and she is interested in science. She is better with people than I am. She’s a tiny bit less hardcore about knowing, you know, immunology, than I am.”, he said.
Financial details of the Gates’ divorce are not yet clear. Bill Gates owns 1.37% of Microsoft’s outstanding shares, which are worth more than $26 billion, according to FactSet. The couple were creators, along with Warren Buffett, of the Giving Pledge, which involves giving away more than half of their wealth.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), was launched in 2000 and is reported to be the largest private foundation in the world, holding $46.8 billion in assets. The primary goals of the foundation are to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty across the globe, and to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology in the U.S.
In a podcast interview last summer, Bill Gates called himself “super lucky” and said, “This is the most profound partnership of my life. I had a partnership with Paul Allen to found Microsoft, I had one with Steve Ballmer to turn it into an amazing company. With our Foundation, with our kids, with our marriage, I’ve got this amazing person,” he said of his wife.
The ex-couple have three children, 23 year-old Jennifer Gates, 20 year-old Rory Gates and 17 year-old Phoebe Gates.
According to Forbes, Bill Gates is the world’s fourth richest person, after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, LVMH’s Bernard Arnault and Tesla’s Elon Musk.