Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, have announced they are divorcing after almost three decades of marriage. "Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and build a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives."The couple, two of the richest people on the planet, added that despite the divorce, they "continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue to work together at the foundation".
"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life". The couple have three children.
The couple's philanthropy has always been deeply rooted in their relationship and marriage - the day before they Wednesday in Hawaii, Bill's mother, Mary, who had been trying to convince him to dramatically increase his charity, gave Melinda a letter which closed with the words "From those to whom much is given, much is expected".
The announcement from one of the world's wealthiest couples, with an estimated net worth of some $130 billion, was made in a joint statement on Twitter.
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Bill and Melinda Wednesday in Hawaii on January 1, 1994. They met after she began working at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987.
They married in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. It has focused on global health and development and US education issues since incorporating in 2000.
Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft's board previous year to focus on his philanthropic activities. Bill Gates, a co-founder of the company, left day-to-day operations at Microsoft in 2008, focusing on his business and philanthropic endeavors.
The couple are splitting up after 27 years of marriage. MacKenzie Scott has since remarried and now focuses on her own philanthropy. She received a 4% stake in Amazon, worth more than $36 billion.