After nearly three decades of marriage, Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates are calling it quits. The couple and business dynamites, who have three children together, announced their surprising split in a joint statement posted to Twitter on May 3.
Bill Gates and Melinda came to the conclusion that they should divorce “after a great deal of thought,” according to their statement. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the statement, posted to the Microsoft founder’s Twitter reads.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the [Gates] foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives.”
Bill Gates, 65, and Melinda, 56, ended the message by asking for privacy “as we begin to navigate this new life.” The billionaire philanthropists met at Microsoft, the company Bill co-founded, where Melinda worked as a marketing manager in 1987. They married on the Hawaiian island of Lanai in September 1994.
The financial details of their split are not clear. Bill Gates, the co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft owns about 1% of the company’s shares. Together, Bill and Melinda are worth about $26 million, according to CNBC. They are part of the Giving Pledge, a movement of wealthy philanthropists who vow to give away half of their money.