Bill and Melinda Gates have parted ways after 27 years of marriage. The couple was one of the world’s wealthiest couples, with an estimated net worth of some $130 billion,

In an official statement posted on social media, the Microsoft co-founder and his former wife announced the news, saying: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”

“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,” said the couple further adding that they will continue to work together at the foundation.


“We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” continued the statement.

The family has requested for privacy and space to “navigate this new life”.

Bill and Melinda met in 1987 when Melinda joined Microsoft as a product manager. The two were unexpectedly seated next to each other at a work dinner and instantly hit it off. After two weeks when Gates asked Melinda out on a first date, she initially rejected him because he was not “spontaneous enough.” Bill called her two hours later and asked for a date that night. They later tied the knot in 1994.

The couple have three children: Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe.

The announcement comes two years after the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, another of the world’s wealthiest people, and his wife MacKenzie.

Gates, 65, was a geeky teenager when he started what would become the world’s most valuable company, and was for a time the world’s richest man and most prominent philanthropist.

He stepped down as Microsoft chief executive in 2008 to devote more time to philanthropy and later left the board, keeping only the title of “founder and technology advisor.”