Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates has announced that his 27-year marriage to Melinda Gates has come to a conclusion.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship,” Gates said in his announcement, “we have made the decision to end our marriage. Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable people to lead healthy, productive lives.”
Gates added that the couple will “continue to work together at the foundation,” but did not offer any specific relating to the dissolving of their union, asking for “space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
In Better Times: The former Melinda French joined Microsoft in 1987 as a marketing manager, later becoming general manager of information products. She began dating Gates in 1987 and the couple married in 1994.
Gates began his philanthropic work with the William H. Gates Foundation, which he launched in 1984. In 2000, Gates and his wife began the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates left Microsoft in 2008 to concentrate on his philanthropic endeavors, with a focus on socioeconomic, educational and environmental issues.
The Gates Foundation is the world's largest private charitable foundation, with a trust endowment of $49.8 billion.
The couple, along with U2 frontman Bono, were named Time Magazine’s 2005 Persons of the Year for their philanthropic work, and together received the Presidential Media of Freedom in 2016 from President Barack Obama.
Bill and Melinda Gates during their visit to the Oslo Opera House in June 2009. Kjetil Ree, via Wikimedia Commons