Bill and Melinda Gates announce decision to end marriage

Bill And Melinda Gates Announce Decision To End Marriage Bill And Melinda Gates Announce Decision To End Marriage
Cambridge University awards honorary Doctorates, © PA Archive/PA Images
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Thomson Reuters

Billionaire Bill Gates and Melinda Gates said in a joint statement on Monday that they had decided to end their marriage.

In identical tweets, they said they had made the decision to end their marriage of 27 years but would continue their work together on their charitable foundation.

"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," the two said in a statement posted on the Twitter account of Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft Corp.

“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 statement continued.

"We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."

The financial details of the decision were not immediately clear.

The two were co-chairs and trustees of their nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which launched in 2000 and is the world’s largest charitable foundation. The foundation currently has over $51 billion (€42.3 billion) in assets, according to a tax filing cited by CNBC.

Last year, Mr Gates, formerly the world’s richest person, said he was stepping down from Microsoft’s board to focus on philanthropy.

Mr Gates was Microsoft’s chief executive officer (CEO) until 2000 and since then has gradually scaled back his involvement in the company he started with Paul Allen in 1975.

He transitioned out of a day-to-day role in Microsoft in 2008 and served as chairman of the board until 2014.

The development comes two years after Inc founder Jeff Bezos said that he and his then wife, MacKenzie, were getting divorced.

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