Bill and Melinda Gates get divorced and shake the philanthropic world

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© Reuters. Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, attends a press conference as the foundation partners with the Japan Sports Agency and Tokyo 2020 to promote the Sustainable Development Goals related to the Tokyo Olympics

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(Reuters) – Bill Gates and Melinda Gates said Monday that they decided to get a divorce, which is unsettling the philanthropic world.

“After much thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we made the decision to end our marriage,” said the two in a statement on the Twitter account of Bill Gates, the co-founder Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ :).

“We no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our life. We ask for space and privacy for our families when we begin to find our way in this new life,” she said.

The financial details of the decision were not immediately clear.

The two were co-chairs and trustees of their nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was founded in 2000. According to a tax return cited by CNBC, the foundation currently has assets of over $ 51 billion.

The development comes two years after Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 founder Jeff Bezos said he and his then-wife MacKenzie were divorcing.

Gates left Harvard to found Microsoft in 1975 with school friend Paul Allen. Gates owned 49% of Microsoft when he went public in 1986, making him an instant multimillionaire. With Microsoft’s explosive growth, he soon became the richest person in the world.

Gates, who made the company one of the most valuable tech companies in the world, stepped down from the board in March 2020 to focus on philanthropy.

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