Bill and Melinda Gates have announced their divorce, putting into question the fourth largest personal fortune.
The iconic founder and former CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates has been married to his wife, Melinda, for 27 years. The two originally met in 1987, while working at Microsoft. In addition to three children, the two founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “a nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world.”
Bill Gates released a statement on Twitter:
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.
– Melinda Gates and Bill Gates
Divorces are difficult under the best of circumstances but, add in a vast fortune, and things can become complicated very quickly. Despite being the richest man alive, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos would be substantially wealthier had the divorce settlement not cost him $36.8 billion.
It remains to be seen how the Gates’ divorce will unfold, but it could have significant ramifications for the foundation they run.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021