After 27 years, Bill and Melinda Gates get divorced. Both the Microsoft co-founder and his wife announced this on Monday, May 3, in an identical tweet. “After careful consideration and a lot of work on our relationship, we have decided to end our marriage,” the two wrote there.
“We no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our life.” And further: “In the past 27 years we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that is committed to making people healthy around the world and to enable productive lives. ”In their statement, the two also announce that they want to continue working together on their foundation, the“ Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ”.
The couple married in 1994, seven years after Melinda Gates joined Microsoft as a product manager. The first time Bill Gates asked her out, he asked her if she wanted to go out with him “in two days”. Melinda Gates replied: “I have no idea what I’ll do in two days”, whereupon Gates is said to have said to her: “You are not spontaneous enough for me.” After she gave him her number, he called her on same day.
The two have three children together, one of whom is a successful show jumper in the USA. Each of the Gates children will inherit ten million dollars, Bill says – the rest of his fortune will go to charity.
She is called “Melinda French Gate” on Twitter
At the time the couple met, Microsoft’s market value was about $ 35 million. Today this value is almost 2 trillion US dollars, Microsoft is one of the most valuable corporations of all. Bill Gates’ net worth is estimated at $ 124 billion, compared to $ 98 billion in 2020, according to business magazine Forbes. This makes him number four in the medium’s billionaire rankings.
Melinda Gates took fifth place in the Forbes “Power Women 2020” ranking, making her one of the most powerful women in philanthropy. On Twitter, she changed her nickname to “Melinda French Gate” – including her maiden name. The Gates’ declared long ago that they would spend their wealth on philanthropic causes, particularly through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They founded the foundation in 2000 and have so far invested billions in global health, poverty reduction and education. They have also invested more than 250 million US dollars through their foundation in combating corona since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Parallels to billionaire divorce from Jeff Bezos
In 2010, together with investor Warren Buffett, they launched the Giving Pledge – a commitment to donate most of their wealth to charity during their lifetime and a promise to continue doing so after their deaths. Details of the divorce are not yet known, but the agreement that will be drawn up could be extremely extensive. When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Scott divorced in 2019 after 25 years of marriage, they received about $ 38 billion.
In the world of nonprofits, the Gates divorce will raise many questions – for example, whether and how the separation will affect the foundation’s decisions about future investments.
This text has been translated from the English original.