After years of working closely both professionally and as a married couple, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates announced their separation on May 3.
Bill and Melinda presented as a remarkably stable partnership for the bulk of their time in the spotlight. Bill, as the founder of Microsoft, made billions, and Melinda spent remained steadfast by his side, co-founding and running the eponymous Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which provides support for such wide-ranging causes as public radio to medical advances.
Despite their world-famous charity and united front, Bill and Melinda were deeply private, only appearing in the headlines for charity work or Microsoft news. Mostly, they seemed like a committed couple whose problems were no greater than their joint philanthropic veneers and raising their three kids. It came as a shock to learn of their intention to divorce. Bill and Melinda posted a joint statement to their Twitter account — here’s what they had to say.
Bill and Melinda Gates are on different paths
The year 2020 was a turning point for Bill and Melinda Gates. Bill stepped down from Microsoft (he kept the $26 billion worth of stock, though) to focus on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which he co-chairs with his wife. However, the move evidently did not bring them closer together, as they announced their intention to divorce in May, per CNBC.
Bill and Melinda shared a lengthy statement explaining the situation to their millions of Twitter followers. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the joint statement read. “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 further addressed any questions over the fate of the foundation but left details of the couple’s billion-dollar fortune up for debate, as well as hinted at the reason for their split. “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.”
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