Billionaire benefactors Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders of one of the world’s largest private charitable foundations, filed for divorce on Monday after 27 years of marriage but pledged to continue their philanthropic work together.
Bill, the billionaire founder of Microsoft, and Melinda, an author and businesswoman, announced their decision to separate on Monday in an identical statement posted on their individual Twitter accounts.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the pair said in a joint statement posted on Twitter on Monday.
“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 read.
“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.”
The couple in 2000 founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a private philanthropic organization which funds research and advocacy work across the globe, including in some of the world’s most impoverished nations.
Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and served as its chief executive until 2000, stepped down from the company’s board last year and has since focused the majority of his efforts on philanthropy.
The couple, who jointly run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a huge funder of global health and disease prevention initiatives, including the fight against coronavirus, said they would continue to run the foundation together.