Bill and Melinda Gates announce divorce after 27 years of marriage

Release time:2021-05-04 Publisher:Lanka Voice

Billionaire Bill Gates and Melinda Gates said in a joint statement on Monday that they have made the decision to end their marriage after 27 years.
In a joint petition for dissolution of marriage filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle, the couple stated, "The marriage is irretrievably broken."
The divorce filing, which states that the couple have no minor children, comes after the youngest of their three children is believed to have recently turned 18. The spouses asked the court to approve their agreement on the division of assets but did not disclose details.
"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 by Bill Gates' Twitter account.
"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.
Gates' spouse, who recently began referring to herself as Melinda French Gates on most websites and social media, was raised in Dallas and studied computer science and economics at Duke University. She later joined Microsoft, where she met her future husband.  
She won Gates' heart after meeting at a work dinner, sharing a mutual love of puzzles and beating him at a math game. The couple were married in 1994 in Hawaii.
In 2015 she founded Pivotal Ventures, an investment company focused on women, and in 2019 published a book, "The Moment of Lift," which centered on female empowerment. Melinda Gates wrote about her childhood, life and private struggles as the wife of a public icon and stay-at-home mom with three kids. 
The Gateses will be the second high-profile Seattle-area billionaire couple to end their marriage in recent years.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos finalized their divorce in 2019. MacKenzie Scott has since remarried and now focuses on her own philanthropy. She received a 4-percent stake in Amazon, worth more than $36 billion.

Screenshot of a statement posted on Bill Gates' Twitter account. /@BillGates
Joint foundation work to continue
The pair "will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation's issues and set the organization's overall direction," the Gates Foundation said in a statement. 
Launched in 2000, the nonprofit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ranks as the largest private philanthropic foundation in the United States and one of the world's biggest, with net assets of $43.3 billion at the end of 2019, according to the latest full-year financials shown on its website.
From 1994 through 2018, Gates and his wife, who is 56, provided gifts of more than $36 billion to the Seattle-based foundation, the website said.
Gates dropped out of Harvard University to start Microsoft with school chum Paul Allen in 1975. Gates owned 49 percent of Microsoft at its initial public offering in 1986, which made him an instant multimillionaire. With Microsoft's explosive growth, he soon became one of the world's wealthiest individuals. 
After an executive tenure in which he helped transform the company into one of the world's leading technology firms, Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000 to focus on philanthropy. He remained chairman until 2014 and left the company's board in March 2020. 
Known in the technology industry as an acerbic and ruthless competitor, Gates drew the ire of rivals and eventually the U.S. government for Microsoft's business practices. 
The software giant was convicted of antitrust violations in the late 1990s. But the verdict was overturned on appeal, and the company then settled the case out of court. 
Gates' public persona softened into an avuncular elder statesman as he turned his attention to philanthropy, and he has largely steered clear of the many controversies currently roiling the technology business. 

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