Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife and fellow philanthropist Melinda announced on Monday they are divorcing after a 27-year marriage.
One of the world’s wealthiest couples with a joint fortune estimated at $130 billion, the Gates have channeled billions into charitable work around the globe via their hugely influential foundation.
In announcing their split on Twitter, the couple said they would continue their joint work on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which funds programmes in global health, gender equality, education and other causes.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” they said in a joint statement, posted on each of their official accounts.
“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,” they wrote. “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.”
The statement offered no additional details on the split but said: “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.” The announcement comes two years after the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, another of the world’s wealthiest people, and his wife MacKenzie.