05-05-2021, 12:57 AM
Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates have announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage.
Making the announcement via a joint statement on Twitter, the couples said they had decided to end their marriage "after a great deal of thought and a lot of work" on their relationship, though the two will continue to work together in the area of philanthropy through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. 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," the joined statement read, further stressing on space and privacy as they embark on a new life.
"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life," the statement read.
Fifty-six-year-old Melinda Gates had joined Microsoft in 1987 as a product manager, and later got married to Bill Gates in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. The couple jointly ran the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which over the past years has contributed to climate change, advocate women's rights, and recently donated funds to the fight against COVID-19
Despite the couple going separate ways, a statement from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says the couple will remain the co-chairs and trustees of the foundation.
"No changes to their roles or the organization are planned," a spokesperson of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said. "They will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation's issues, and set the organization's overall direction."
In July 2019, a similar high profile divorce involving MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos going separate ways after 25 years of marriage.