Bill and Melinda Gates have announced their decision to divorce after 27 years of marriage but will continue to work together at their namesake philanthropic foundation, a development that shocked the world of philanthropy.
Bill, the billionaire founder of Microsoft, and Melinda, an author and businesswoman, announced their decision to separate on Monday in an identical statement posted on their individual Twitter accounts.
“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 statement read. “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.”
The couple, who met at Microsoft and married in Hawaii in 1994, asked for privacy.
A joint petition for dissolution of marriage filed by the couple in King County Superior Court in Seattle stated: “The marriage is irretrievably broken.”
Launched in 2000, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private philanthropic foundation in the United States and one of the biggest in the world, with net assets of $43.3bn at the end of 2019, according to its website.