By Emmanuel Okogba
Bill Gates said in a tweet on Monday that he and his wife, Melinda Gates, will be splitting up after 27 years.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. 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. 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 and Melinda Gates wrote in a statement that Bill Gates tweeted out.
The couple met in 1987, soon after Melinda joined Microsoft. Melinda recalled, in a 2019 Netflix documentary, how she found Bill compiling a list of the pros and cons of marriage on a whiteboard before he proposed.
Financial Times reports that depending on the terms of any divorce settlement, Melinda Gates could immediately rival Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, Scott MacKenzie, whose fortune is put by Forbes at $60bn, for influence in the philanthropy world in her own right.
The two will keep working together on philanthropic efforts, which have addressed education, gender equality and health care.