Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, one of the world’s largest technology companies, and his wife Melinda Gates have announced the end of their 27-year-old family. Announcing the separation, they tweeted, “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”
Bill Gates (65) and his wife Melinda (56) are one of the five richest couples in the world. Bill Gates’ assets amounted to USD 124 billion. They suddenly announced their separation. Two weeks ago, the two virtually joined a function with medical personnel fighting the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint message posted on Twitter on Monday, the Gates couple said, “With a lot of thought, we have decided to announce the end of the marriage relationship.”
The pair both posted the statement on Twitter about their divorce.
It read: “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 the next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life,” it said.
About 27 years ago, the couple married on a golf course on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. They live in an earth-sheltered mansion on the hill side overlooking Lake Washington in Medina of Washington. Gates became the youngest billionaire ever at the age of 31 in 1987, several years before he got married.
The Gates Foundation mainly works for the development of the world’s health sector. The foundation is the largest fund provider for the treatment and immunization of Coronavirus. Bill Gates said he wants to spend billions of dollars to prevent Covid-19 infections.
Earlier, Melinda said that their marriage has been a tough phase. Bill Gates works 16 hours a day regularly. It becomes difficult for the family to find his time. He told the Sunday Times on his 25th wedding anniversary in 2019.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
Billionaire Bill Gates was the first to establish Microsoft in 1975. Melinda joined him in 1987. They later got married in 1994. Bill Gates, who was extremely busy, was hesitant about whether he should actually get married or not. Melinda had earlier said Bill Gates was widely skeptical about whether he could strike a balance between work and family. He even started writing good and bad aspects of marriage on the white board.
This is the second time in recent years that the world’s top richest couple have parted ways. Gates’ divorce announcement came two years after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos got divorced with his-then wife — MacKenzie Scott, the world’s fourth-richest woman in 2019. McKenzie received $38 billion in assets.
How did they get together?
Melinda joined Microsoft in 1987 as a product manager and that year they met at a business dinner in New York.
They began dating, but Bill told a Netflix documentary: “We cared a lot for each other and there were only two possibilities: either, we were going to break up or we were going to get married.”
They got married in 1994.
Bill Gates stepped down from the Microsoft board last year to emphasize his charity work.
What is the Gates Foundation?
In 2000, the Gates couple established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 in Seattle and focuses primarily on public health, education and climate change, Reuters reports.
The Foundation included some $1.75bn to vaccine initiatives and research during the Coronavirus pandemic. It had net assets of more than $43bn in 2019.