Bill and Melinda Gates-The Billion Dollar Divorce!
Bill and Melinda Gates announced on Monday that they are divorcing after 27 years of marriage. The two posted a joint statement on Twitter announcing their separation. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have decided to end our marriage”.
In the joint statement, they also announced that they would also continue working on their joint charity foundation, one of the world’s largest charitable foundations.
“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.” The Microsoft co-founder and his wife both continued adding, “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life”.
Things may get heated with the couple as they did not sign a prenup. Although they aren’t the first or the last couple to get a divorce, they are the first and only couple to have a net worth approaching 150 billion dollars. This means their separation may set records for the largest divorce settlement to date. Bill Gates was formally the richest man in the world. The divorce process on how the couple will separate estates or the implications the divorce may have on the charity will be heavily watched by the media and business.
This is not the only high profiled divorce we have seen the past couple of years. The shocking divorce announcement between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos finalized their divorce in 2019. Mackenzie, which received a 4% stake in Amazon, worth more than £36 billion, has since remarried and is focusing on her own philanthropy.
Bill and Melinda met after working at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987 and were married in 1994 in Hawaii. Their co-owned charity, which is based in Seattle, is the most influential private foundation globally with funding of nearly £50 billion. It focuses on global health, development and helping with U.S. education issues since 2000.
A spokesperson for the Gates Foundation said that the philanthropy did not anticipate any changes to its work and that both Bill Gates and Melinda Gates will remain as co-chairs and trustees of the foundation in their name.
There have been rumours that Melinda will seek to start her own philanthropic work. Melinda Gates has already increasingly built her profile throughout the years as a champion of woman and girls. The soon-to-be-former Mrs Gates had also exclusively launched her own private Pivotal Ventures investment and incubation company in 2015.
It is still too soon to know the outcome from the divorce but one thing is curtain, a lot of things may get complicated between the former couple and their estates.
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