Bill and Melinda Gates said on Monday that they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the two said in a statement posted on Twitter. “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.”
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
At stake is one of the world’s greatest fortunes — currently valued at $145.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — and one of the largest philanthropy operations on the planet.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given away more than $50 billion, contributing to the fight against Covid-19, leading the charge on climate change and advocating for women’s rights.
Last year, Bill Gates said he was stepping down from Microsoft’s board to focus on philanthropy. He was Microsoft’s CEO until 2000 and since then has gradually scaled back his involvement in the company he started with Paul Allen in 1975. He transitioned out of a day-to-day role in Microsoft in 2008 and served as chairman of the board until 2014.