Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce on Monday in a joint statement stating that “we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”.
The couple are divorcing after 27 years of marriage. The Microsoft co-founder now philanthropist and his wife have built up a combined fortune of $124bn, making them one of the richest couples in the world.
Bill Gates, 65 and Melinda Gates,56 met in 1987 at a business dinner when Melinda started working in Microsoft.The married after much deliberation in 1994, Bill reportedly using a whiteboard to write out the pros and cons of marriage.They have three children together.
The couple released a joint statement on Monday outlining the reasons for their divorce; “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.”
The couple set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 in Seattle. The foundation works on public health, education and climate change. The foundation website states that; “Our mission is to create a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life.”
The couple have also been at the forefront of the fight for vaccination during the Covid-19 pandemic.It is estimated that they have invested $36bn in the foundation.
Bill left the board of Microsoft in March of last year to focus completely on the foundation.
The couple will continue to work together on the foundation.The statement continued; “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.
In 2010 the couple along with Warren Buffet set up the giving pledge a promise to give at least half of their wealth to charity and have called on other billionaires to do so.
The couple have asked for privacy at this time ;We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life,”