Bill and Melinda Gates announced Monday that they are divorcing.
The Microsoft co-founder and his wife, who launched the world’s largest charitable foundation, said they would continue to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In identical tweets, they said they had made the decision to end their marriage of 27 years.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
“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 said in a statement. “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
Jennifer Gates, 25, the eldest daughter of Bill and Melinda, released a statement on her Instagram Story after the news emerged online.
“By now, many of you have heard the news that my parents are separating. It’s been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family.
“I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time, and I am grateful for the space to do so. I won’t personally comment further on anything around the separation, but please know that your kind words and support mean the world to me.
“Thank you for understanding our desire for privacy while we navigate the next phases of our lives.”
Last year, Bill Gates, formerly the world’s richest person, said he was stepping down from Microsoft’s board to focus on philanthropy.
Gates was Microsoft’s CEO until 2000 and since then has gradually scaled back his involvement in the company he started with Paul Allen in 1975. He transitioned out of a day-to-day role in Microsoft in 2008 and served as chairman of the board until 2014.