Bill and Melinda Gates announced Monday via Twitter they are ending their marriage, while vowing to continue to work together on the huge foundation they built.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. 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,” their message read in part.
“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
Addressing the future of the foundation they established in 2000 and grew — using both his Microsoft fortune and contributions from the likes of Warren Buffett — to an endowment pegged in 2019 at nearly $50 billion, the Twitter message added: “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.”
Gates co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975 and was its CEO until 2000. In March 2020, he severed his last role with the company, stepping down as a board member in order to “dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities including global health, development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change,” as the company put it.
They were married in 1994 after meeting at Microsoft, where Melinda was an associate product manager. In a 2013 interview, they talked about their marriage and work together.