Bill and Melinda Gates are getting a divorce after 27 years of marriage, the couple announced Monday in a joint statement.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” a statement from the billionaire philanthropist couple, tweeted from both of their personal Twitter accounts at 4:30 p.m. EST, reads.
“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,” the statement goes on.
“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.”
Bill Gates, one of the wealthiest men in the world and worth a reported $130 billion, made his fortune as the co-founder of Microsoft — a venture he started in 1975, about 20 years before he tied the knot with Melinda.
The two started dating in 1987 after meeting at a trade show in New York before getting married on New Year’s Day in 1994 in Hawaii, TMZ reported.
Melinda Gates briefly worked for the company in their marketing department before she was appointed as General Manager of Information Products in the early 1990s, TMZ reported.
She left the company in 1996 so she could focus on starting a family.
In 2000, the couple started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and have since donated about $50 billion to charity for initiatives across the globe.
Melinda Gates is an American philanthropist and a former general manager at Microsoft. In 2000, she and her former husband Bill Gates co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable organization as of 2015.