Bill and Melinda Gates
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Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, said in one Tweet on Monday that he and his wife, Melinda Gates, will split up after 27 years. The two will continue to work together on philanthropic endeavors that address education, gender equality, and health care.
“After much thought and work on our relationship, we made the decision to end our marriage,” wrote Bill and Melinda Gates in a statement that Bill Gates tweeted.
“Over the past 27 years we have raised three incredible children and started a foundation that works around the world to help all people live healthy and productive lives. We continue to share the belief in this mission and will continue to work together on the.” Foundation, but we no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our families as we begin to find our way in this new life. “
The decision reflects a personal change at the top of American business.
Bill Gates led Microsoft from its inception with Paul Allen in 1975 to 2000 as CEO, leaving Steve Ballmer to lead the company while Bill Gates became Chairman and Chief Software Architect. In 2008, Gates left the company to spend more time with the nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Last year, Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s board of directors as coronavirus became a global force. He spent more time on the foundation alongside Melinda Gates. The two are co-chairs and trustees of the foundation, which was established in 2000.
Bill and Melinda Gates both worked at Microsoft. She was a marketing manager at the software company. The two met in 1987 at a dinner for Microsoft employees. “It took a few months before he questioned me,” Melinda Gates said later. Bill Gates had weighed the pros and cons on a blackboard, and in 1994 the couple married in Hawaii.
Financial details of the Gateses parting ways are not yet clear. Bill Fact owns 1.37% of Microsoft’s outstanding shares, which FactSet says are valued at more than $ 26 billion. The couple co-created the Giving Pledge, along with Warren Buffett, in which more than half of their fortune is given away.
At some point, the couple decided to transfer $ 20 billion worth of Microsoft shares to the foundation to increase their commitment to philanthropy, wrote Bill Gates in a 2019 blog post. Today, the foundation has assets of $ 20 billion, according to a tax return more than $ 51 billion.
“In the case of Melinda, it’s a really equal partner,” said Bill Gates in the 2019 Netflix documentary “Inside Bill’s Brain.” “She’s a lot like me because she’s upbeat and interested in science. She gets along better People deal with them than I. She’s a little less hardcore at knowing immunology than I am. “
According to Forbes, Bill Gates is the fourth richest person in the world after Bezos, Bernard Arnault of LVMH and Elon Musk of Tesla.
The announcement comes two years after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he and his wife MacKenzie were getting a divorce. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are some of the richest people in the world, and Amazon and Microsoft compete in the cloud computing business. Amazon said earlier this year that Bezos would step down from his position as CEO and that cloud chief Andy Jassy would succeed him.
For more than a decade, the Gateses have published annual letters about their foundation’s work. The latest release, released in January, reflected on the impact of the pandemic beyond helping vaccine development. “For us, the days were a blur of video meetings, disturbing news reports and microwave-chilled meals,” they wrote.
This story evolves. Update for updates.