Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, his wife, tweeted on Monday about getting a divorce. After much thought and work on mending their marriage, both of them decided to end their 27 years of marriage.
Bill and Melinda Gates however, assure that they’ll continue working together on the foundation they have built together years ago. The foundation has been put up to tackle big issues of the world related education, gender equality, and health care.
In his Twitter account, Bill Gates shared the agreed statement with Melinda over their marriage. Bill and Melinda Gates said that the decision to divorce was a product of much thought and patching up works.
27 years of marriage
Over the 27 years of being married, Bill and Melinda are happy to have raised three wonderful children. Both also have put up Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that addresses challenges across the world. A nonprofit organization that fights against poverty, disease, and inequality to enable people to have healthy and productive lives.
The couple assures that they will continue to uphold that mission and will continue to work together in the foundation. But they think that they can no longer work together as a couple henceforth. Both have requested for space and privacy as they try to make necessary adjustments in this new setup.
Bill Gates together with Paul Allen founded Microsoft in 1975 and acted as the CEO until the year 2000. By then, he turned over the position to Steve Ballmer while he became the chairman and chief software architect. In 2008, Bill decided to focus on the foundation he and Melinda started and relinquish his role at Microsoft.
Last year, when the COVID-19 created havoc around the world, Bill decided to step down from Microsoft’s board. He then spent more time on the foundation together with Melinda. Bill and Melinda are co-chairs and trustees of the foundation that was launched in 2000.
Bill and Melinda Gates story
The couple met each other at work as both of them were working at Microsoft. Melinda became a general manager where she worked on products like Encarta encyclopedia, according to her profile in LinkedIn.
Both of them first met at a dinner for Microsoft employees in 1987. Few months after, Bill asked Melinda if she could go out with him. And in 1994, they got married in Hawaii.
Details in relation to their wealth have not been disclosed yet. Bill Gates owns 1.37% of Microsoft which will amount to around $26 billion. The couple have started together with Warren Buffet of the Philanthropic commitment of the Giving Pledge. This program encourages members to give away more than half of their wealth.
At a particular time, Bill and Melinda moved $20 billion worth of Microsoft shares to the foundation. They did so as they increased their commitment to philanthropic work. At present, the foundation stands in over $51 billion assets, being the wealthiest foundation across the world.
Bill Gates is the world’s fourth richest-person, after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, LVMH’s Bernard Arnault and Tesla’s Elon Musk, says Forbes. And the announcement to divorce comes two years after Bezo’s divorce.