Two of the world’s most powerful philanthropists – Bill Gates and his wife Melinda – have announced that they have decided to divorce after being married for 27 years.
The co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft and Melinda filed for divorce in King County Superior Court in Seattle and released a joint statement on their respective verified Twitter accounts.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the 65-year-old shared on Twitter. “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 tweet continues. “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
In a statement, the foundation shared that the pair would continue to work together in their existing roles as co-chairs to shape the organisation’s strategies, champion its causes and set its direction.
Bill and Melinda, 56, first met when she joined Bill’s Microsoft firm. According to her LinkedIn profile, she had been a general manager at the software company, where she worked on products such as the Encarta encyclopedia.
The former flames, who walked down the aisle in Hawaii in 1994, reportedly did not sign a prenuptial agreement. In the divorce petition, Melinda had requested the judge to dissolve the marriage ‘on the date stated in our separation contract’.
As the fourth richest man in the world, Bill Gates is worth $124 billion, according to Forbes. Jennifer is the oldest of Bill and Melinda’s three children, followed by 21-year-old son Rory and 18-year-old daughter Phoebe.