Billionaire couple Bill Gates and Melinda Gates said in a joint statement on Monday that they have decided to end their marriage.
"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," the two said in a statement posted on the Twitter account of Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft Corp.
"We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life," their statement said.The couple has three children together.
The financial details of the decision were not immediately clear.
The two have been co-chairs and trustees of their nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for more than 20 years. The foundation currently has over $51 billion in assets, according to a tax filing cited by CNBC.
Bill Gates is one of the richest individuals in the world, with a net worth estimated at $130.5 billion according to Forbes.
The couple has donated tens of billions of dollars to charity and they have been heavily involved in philanthropy efforts with their foundation.During the coronavirus crisis, the Gates invested in medicine and vaccine development. Notably, Gates had predicted back in 2015 that if a global pandemic struck, the world wouldn't be prepared.
Due to his name being linked to many medical and vaccine development efforts as well as his prediction from five years ago, many conspiracy theorists include Gates in their theories regarding the coronavirus pandemic. One popular theory claims that he is tricking the world with his position on vaccines, which are in fact merely a ruse to inject billions of people across the globe with microchips.
The Gates' divorce comes two years after Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos said that he and his then-wife, MacKenzie, were getting a divorce.
Gates dropped out of Harvard to co-found Microsoft with school-friend Paul Allen in 1975. Gates owned 49% of Microsoft at its initial public offering in 1986, which made him an instant multi-millionaire. With Microsoft's explosive growth, he soon became the world's richest person.
Gates, who made the company one of the world's most valuable technology firms, stepped down from the board in March 2020 to focus on philanthropy.