Washington: Philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates have announced in a joint statement that they were getting divorced after 27 years of marriage.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the pair wrote in a joint statement posted on Twitter on Monday by the Microsoft founder.
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 foundations, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.
According to reports, they met in the late 1980s when Melinda joined Microsoft.
They have three children and jointly run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is based in Seattle, with Chief Executive Mark Suzman.
In developing countries, the foundation’s focus is on improvements to health and providing opportunities for people to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.
In the US, the foundation seeks to ensure people have equal access to what they need to achieve success in school and life, especially for those with the fewest resources.
The foundation says it had spent more than $54 billion on projects by the end of 2019.
Bill, who is one of the richest people in the world, has often emphasized in interviews that his children should only inherit a small part of his wealth.
The financial magazine Forbes has estimated he is worth more than $100 billion.
Melinda Gates grew up in Dallas, Texas. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science and economics and an MBA, both from Duke University.
She spent the first decade of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft before leaving the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work, according to the foundation’s website.