Bill Gates and Melinda Shock World With Divorce News After 27 Years

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Wall Street was surprised to learn on Monday that tech billionaire Bill Gates and his wife Melinda French would be divorcing after nearly three decades of marriage.

The couple made the announcement about splitting on Twitter and said the two will keep working together on their philanthropic efforts, which have addressed education, gender equality and health care.

The Microsoft co-founder and former CEO had met Melinda at the company in 1987 and wed in 1994. Melinda had been a general manager at Microsoft, where she worked on products such as the Encarta encyclopedia, according to her LinkedIn profile.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” Bill and Melinda Gates wrote in a statement that was sent out on Bill’s Twitter.

“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.”

“In the case of Melinda, it is a truly equal partner,” Bill Gates said in the 2019 Netflix documentary “Inside Bill’s Brain.” “She’s a lot like me in that she is optimistic and she is interested in science. She is better with people than I am. She’s a tiny bit less hardcore about knowing, you know, immunology, than I am.”

It was in 2020 that Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s board and spent more time on the foundation alongside Melinda Gates. The two are co-chairs and trustees of the foundation, which began in 2000.

The couple, along with Warren Buffett, had also created the Giving Pledge, a program that requires participants to give away more than half of their wealth.

Financial details of the split are not yet clear. Bill Gates owns 1.37% of Microsoft’s outstanding shares, which are worth more than $26 billion, according to FactSet.

It was Valentine’s Day of 2020 that Bill posted a picture on his Instagram of him and Melinda together with his arm around her. He
captioned the photo, “I couldn’t ask for a better partner on this journey.”

Bill Gates is the world’s fourth richest person currently.

Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.