Billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates are getting a divorce after 27 years of marriage. The co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it in a statement released on their Twitter accounts on Tuesday, May 4.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the statement says.
The pair will continue to work together in running their charitable institution, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the organization’s website, it has spent $53.8 billion on a wide range of initiatives related to global health, poverty alleviation and more since it was founded in 2000. Meanwhile, Fox Business reported that the foundation “is the largest private charitable foundation” in the world.”
“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 statement reads. “We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
Forbes noted that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest people in the world with an estimated net worth of over $130 billion. He stepped down as CEO of his company “to focus on the Gates Foundation” in 2000 and in 2020, left its board of directors for the similar motivations.
The Daily Mail pointed out that the Gates’ split is “the biggest divorce since” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie in 2019. The couple’s divorce was finalized in July of that year.
The Gates’ divorce will have the “largest division of assets,” which includes their main home in homes in five states; a fleet of cars including a rare $2 million Porsche; an art collection that includes the $30 million Da Vinci Codex that Gates bought at an auction; and a series of private jets. The pair is also the biggest private owner of farmland in the United States, with 242,000 acres across 18 different states.