Bill and Melinda Gates are set to divorce after 27 years of marriage which was announced in a joint statement by the pair on Monday.
“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 build a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” the statement confirmed.
“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. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
The couple on Monday filed a divorce petition in King County Superior Court in Washington state. The filing suggests they have a separation agreement to divide their assets.
“This marriage is irretrievably broken,” the petition stated. “We ask the court to dissolve our marriage and find that our marital community ended on the date stated in our separation contract.”
Bill Gates who founded Microsoft is ranked No. 4 on the Forbes Billionaires List with a net worth of $124 billion.
At age 31 in 1987, Gates was already the youngest billionaire ever, several years before he married Melinda.
He became the world’s richest man in 1995 at the age of 39 with a fortune of $9.2bn when his Company Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer to the world later that year.
In 2000, the couple founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which was a merging of the William H Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation which is believed to be the largest private foundation in the world.
The foundation currently holds over $51b in assets according to a tax filing cited by CNBC and strives to reduce extreme poverty and enhance healthcare around the globe while also creating education opportunities and access to information technology in the US. The Philanthropy had issued nearly $55b in total grant payments since inception through 2019, according to its website.
The Gate’s divorce announcement comes two years after Jeff Bezos’s Amazon founder announced their divorce leaving his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott the third richest woman in the world in 2019 after the settlement.
MacKenzies’s worth is estimated to be approximately $53b.