Bill Gates, Co-Founder and Former CEO of Microsoft and his wife, Melinda French Gates, said that they will split up after 27 years. Though they have filed for the divorce, the duo will keep working together on philanthropic efforts, which have addressed education, gender equality, health care and other issues.
"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.
"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," the statement added.
Though the details about the divorce are unknown but many believe that settlement could be one of the largest ever in the world. The statement comes two years after Jeff Bezos said he and his wife, MacKenzie, were getting divorced. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are among the world’s richest people, and Amazon and Microsoft compete in the cloud computing world.
MOST EXPENSIVE DIVORCE EVER?
Bill Gates's net worth originated with Microsoft but shares of him now probably make up less than 20 per cent of his assets. He has shifted much of his stake into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation from past few years and his exact stake hasn't been disclosed since he left Microsoft last year.
The duo is worth an estimated USD 130 billion and they are the fourth-richest people around the globe. The Gates’ enormous property includes homes in five states (USA), multiple expensive cars including a rare Porsche worth USD 2 million, fleet of private jets and an art collection that includes USD 30 million Da Vinci Codex.
Besides this, Bill Gates is also the biggest private owner of farmland in the USA as he owns around 2,42,000 acres of land in different states. The Gates’ have three children - Jennifer (25), Rory (21) and Phoebe (18). Their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world, with a legacy worth nearly USD 50 billion. Their foundation finished 2019 with net assets of USD 43.3 billion. Bill, who is one of the richest people around the world, has often emphasised in interviews that his children should only receive a small part of his wealth. The Forbes magazine has estimated he is worth more than USD 100 billion.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Though, they have decided to separate, the duo will keep working together on philanthropic efforts of the foundation. The foundation has always focused on global health and development and education issues in various countries since 2000. In developing nations, the foundation's objective is on enhancements to health and giving opportunities for people to lift themselves out of hunger and life-threatening poverty.
The Gateses got married in 1994 in Hawaii. They met after Melinda began working at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987. Melinda grew up in Dallas, Texas and earned a Bachelor's Degree in computer science and economics and an MBA. She spent the first 10 years of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft. She left the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work, according to the foundation's website.
Meanwhile, Bill was Microsoft’s CEO until 2000 and since then has gradually climbed his involvement in the company he started with Paul Allen in 1975. He transformed out of a day-to-day role in Microsoft in 2008 and served as Chairman of the board until 2014. The couple's philanthropy has always been deeply rooted in their relationship and marriage and now people are not happy that one of the world’s richest couple is parting ways.