Bill and Melinda Gates met at Microsoft and married in 1994. The couple, who have agreed to spend more than half of their wealth on charity, have now announced they are ending their life together, but the financial consequences of the separation are still unclear.
NEW: Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they're getting a divorce.
The Gates family has a net worth approaching $150 billion, and their separation could set records for the largest divorce settlement to date. https://t.co/ofqSLOMoq2
— Vox (@voxdotcom) May 3, 2021
Former Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates and his wife Melinda French Gates said on Twitter on Monday that they are separating after 27 years. The two will continue to contribute to philanthropic efforts, including education, gender equality, and health care.
Bill and Melinda’s statement
“After much thought and hard work about our relationship, we decided to end our marriage. Over the past 27 years, we have raised three unique children and built a foundation that works all over the world so that all people can have a healthy and productive life. We will continue to work on these missions and continue our joint work at the Foundation. But we no longer believe that whether in the next stage of our lives we can grow together as a couple. As we move into this new life, we want space and privacy for our family. ”
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The decision reflects a personal shift at the head of the couple’s American business. Bill Gates led Microsoft from its founding with Paul Allen in 1975 to 2000 as CEO; In 2008, Gates left his day-to-day role at the company to spend more time with the Bill & Melinda Gates Nonprofit Foundation. Bill Gates resigned from Microsoft last year as the Coronavirus became a worldwide problem. He spent more time with Melinda Gates at the foundation. They are the chairman and trustee of the foundation, which was founded in 2000.
Co-workers at Microsoft
According to LinkedIn, Melinda worked on products such as the Encarta Encyclopedia. Melinda Gates later said: “It took a few months for Bill to ask me out and in 1994, the couple married in Hawaii.” The financial details of Gates’ divorce are still unknown. Bill Gates owns 1.37% of Microsoft’s most prominent stock, valued at more than $ 26 billion.
Bill Gates wrote in a blog post in 2019
“We plan to transfer approximately $ 20 billion worth of Microsoft stock to our foundation.” Because we strive to increase our commitment to philanthropy. ”
According to a tax file, the foundation today has more than $ 51 billion in assets and has become one of the richest foundations in the world.
Bill Gates is the fourth richest person in the world, after Jeff Bezos from Amazon, Bernard Arnault from LVMH and Ilan Musk from Tesla. The divorce notice came two years after Bezos said he and his wife, McKenzie, were divorcing. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are some of the richest people in the world, and Amazon and Microsoft are competing in the cloud business. Amazon announced earlier this year that Bezos would step down as CEO.