The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, and his wife Melinda, are now divorcing after 27 years of marriage.
The couple, who co-own the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation, a global development and health charity, announced their divorce on Twitter, stating that they would continue to serve at the foundation together.
“After a lot of work on our relationship and a great deal of thought, we have made the conclusion to end our marriage,” they said in a statement posted by both of them on their Twitter feed. “Over the last 27 years, we have raised three beautiful children, and we built a foundation that works all around the world to enable all people to lead productive and healthy lives. We resume sharing a vision in that mission and will continue our role together at the foundation. But we no longer think that we can be happy together as a couple in the next phase of our lives. We ask for privacy and space for our family as we begin to explore this new life.”
The couple’s separation obviously surprises many people who know the couple as humanitarians.
“I think we are all shocked on some level; because many people look up to Melinda and especially Bill Gates, particularly for their work in the COVID area,” Leslie Barbara, an attorney with Davidoff Hutcher & Citron in New York, said.
The couple met after Melinda became a manager at Microsoft in 1987. They were seated close to each other at a business dinner table in New York. They tied the knot in 1994 in Hawaii.
In a Netflix documentary titled “Inside Bill’s Brain,” Melinda joked about the memory of finding a blackboard in Bill’s bedroom that had “the pros and cons of getting married,” The New York Times reported.