The Microsoft co-founder broke the news of their separation on Monday, May 3, with a tweet, sharing a statement about the longtime couple calling it quits.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and build a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” he wrote. “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. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
Bill and Melinda Gates got married in Hawaii in 1994 after meeting at Microsoft, where Melinda was working as a marketing manager.
“It took him quite a few months before he asked me out,” Melinda Gates said during an interview with Salesforce back in 2016. Apparently, Bill Gates had weighed out the pros and cons of pursuing a relationship with his wife at the time before he finally decided to make the move.
Together, the couple has run the nonprofit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for over 20 years, as both co-chairs and trustees. It is reported to be the largest private foundation in the world. According to CNBC, the foundation has over “$51 billion in assets” based on the company’s tax filings.
Bill Gates revealed more about his relationship with his now-estranged wife in a 2019 Netflix documentary titled “Inside Bill’s Brain.”
“In the case of Melinda, it is a truly equal partner,” Gates shared. “She’s a lot like me in that she is optimistic and she is interested in science. She is better with people than I am. She’s a tiny bit less hardcore about knowing, you know, immunology than I am.”
This news comes just two years after another of the world’s richest figures, Jeff Bezos, announced his divorce from ex-wife MacKenzie.
Must be something in the water.