“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the Microsoft co-founder tweeted on Monday, May 3. “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
Bill, 65, — who has an estimated net worth of $130 billion — and his wife, 56, explained in the joint message that the former flames "raised three incredible children and build a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives," referring to their nonprofit organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
And while they are ready to throw in the towel on their longtime marriage, they insisted they still "share a belief" in their foundation's mission and "will continue [their] work together at the foundation."
Concluding their shocking announcement, the former couple asked the public to allow their family "space and privacy" as they "begin to navigate this new life."
After Bill stepped down from Microsoft's board as the coronavirus heightened around the world, he began putting more of his energy into the co-parents' nonprofit — Bill and Melinda are the co-chairs and trustees of the foundation. According to a tax filing, their foundation, which launched in 2000, has over $51 billion in assets, CNBC reported.
Bill and Melinda tied the knot in Hawaii in 1994 and welcomed eldest daughter Jennifer, 25, two years later. The duo also share son Rory, 21, and daughter Phoebe, 18.