Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, the former General Manager of Microsoft, on Monday said through a tweet that they had decided to separate after 27 years of marriage. The two will however continue to work together in philanthropy through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In a joint statement shared on Twitter, the couple said that they had decided to end the marriage "after a great deal of thought and a lot of work" on their relationship.
"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 this next phase of our lives," they tweeted.
The couple further requested "space and privacy" for their family as they "begin to navigate this new life".
Fifty-six-year-old Melinda Gates had joined Microsoft in 1987 as a product manager. She and Bill Gates got married in 1994.
The couple jointly ran the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which over the past several years, has donated funds in the fight against COVID-19, climate change, and to advocate women rights. Bill Gates, once the world's richest man is well known to have set apart a major part of his wealth for philanthropic causes. Gates has since slipped from the list of the richest, but still ranks fourth in the Forbes' list of the world's richest.
In an emailed statement, a spokesperson of the foundation said the couple will remain the co-chairs and trustees of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"No changes to their roles or the organization are planned," the statement read. "They will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation's issues, and set the organization's overall direction."
The Gates' divorce comes almost two years after another high-profile tech giant chief Jeff Bezos, of Amazon decided to separate from MacKenzie after 25 years of marriage, in July 2019.