The 65-year-old American billionaire Bill Gates and the 56-year-old Melinda announced their divorce on Monday (May 3), ending their 27-year marriage: “We can no longer grow up together.”
The two wrote on Twitter: “After careful consideration and a lot of effort in the relationship, we decided to put an end to the marriage.”
The two met in the 1980s when Melinda joined Bill’s Microsoft company.
They have three children and jointly run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charitable organization that spends a lot of money on fighting infectious diseases and supporting children’s vaccinations. It is estimated to spend $5 billion each year. Their charitable work has won them international admiration.
The foundation statement stated that the two will continue to lead the foundation together, and no changes are expected: “They will continue to work together to shape and approve the foundation’s strategy, advocate for the foundation’s matters, and set the overall direction of the organization.”
The two also promoted the donation oath plan with the famous investor Buffett to encourage the rich to give back their wealth to the society.
Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft in the 1970s and became the world’s largest software company. He now ranks fourth in the Forbes Global Rich List, with an estimated net worth of US$124 billion.
According to the New York Times, most of Bill Gates’ wealth has not been donated to the foundation. The divorce between the two will bring new problems, such as how his wealth will be handled.
The two people issued a divorce statement on Twitter this time: “In the past 27 years, we have raised three children, established a foundation, and have jobs around the world. We hope that everyone can have a healthy and positive life.
“We continue to share common ideas in this work and will continue to cooperate with the foundation, but we believe that it will be difficult to grow together in the name of a partner in the future stages of life.”
“I hope that the outside world will give our family space and privacy, and let us begin to explore a new life.”
US media reported that the relationship between the two has also encountered bottlenecks in the past few years. Bill Gates resigned from the Microsoft board last year to focus on his philanthropy. One of the reasons was that he wanted to spend more time at home.