Microsoft founder, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates announced on Monday they were ending their marriage after a 27-year of being together. In a statement released on Twitter, Bill and Melinda Gates shared, “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”
“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 added.
In spite of their split, the pair categorically stated that they will keep working together on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We continue to share a belief in the mission and will continue our work together at the foundation,” statement.
Why Bill and Melinda Gates Decided To Take This Step
The pair in a statement jointly out mentioned that they believe they can no longer work as a couple. Image courtesy: Bill Gates Facebook page
The pair took the tough call of parting ways after 27 years of marriage. In the statement that was shared by both Bill and Melinda over social media, they explained that they were no longer on the same path and this decided to split.
“Over the last 27 years, 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. 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. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life,” the pair tweeted.
Here’s their full statement:
The news of Bill and Melinda Gates divorce has shocked people around. There had been no indication of their relationship fraying.
In fact, for Valentine’s Day in 2020, Bill Gates had posted a photo on Instagram showing him standing with his arm around Melinda Gates. “I couldn’t ask for a better partner on this journey,” the caption said.
How Bill And Melinda Gates Met
Bill and Melinda Gates have three children together-Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe. Image courtesy: Bill Gates Facebook page
Their love story began in late 80s after Melinda joined Microsoft as a product manager in 1987. He was in his early 30s; she was in her early 20s.
Then at a company picnic, he asked Melinda out. But she was reportedly put off by the idea that he wanted to plan a dinner date two weeks later. “I had no idea what I was going to be doing then. I said, ‘that’s not spontaneous enough for me.”
She wrote in her memoir, “At the time, both were in the Microsoft parking lot, about to go home for the evening. A couple of hours later, he called her and asked her out for that same night, adding, “Is this spontaneous enough for you?”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. At the time, Melinda’s mother did not think it was a good idea for her daughter to date the CEO of the company she worked for. But the pair dated for seven years before they got married.
Melinda in an earlier interview said she found Bill – methodical, even in matters of the heart – writing a list on a whiteboard with the “pros and the cons of getting married”.
Bill told a Netflix documentary: “We cared a lot for each other and there were only two possibilities: either, we were going to break up or we were going to get married.”
Melinda Gates, in her 2019 memoir-The Moment of Lift– wrote about her childhood, life and private struggles as the wife of a public icon and stay-at-home mom with three kids. She won Gates’ heart, after meeting at a work dinner, sharing a mutual love of puzzles and beating him at a math game.
Bill and Melinda married in 1994 in Hawaii, reportedly hiring up all the local helicopters to stop unwanted guests flying over.
Together, they have three children together – Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe.
About Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Since 2000, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has focussed on public health, education and climate change. Image courtesy: Gates Foundation Facebook page
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was launched in 2000. The foundation focuses primarily on public health, education and climate change. According to reports, Bill and Melinda Gates pumped more than $36bn into the foundation between 1994 and 2018.
Working together at the Foundation had made their relationship better, Melinda argued. “He’s had to learn how to be equal, and I’ve had to learn how to step up and be equal,” she wrote in her memoir.
The foundation has more than $51 billion in assets, according to a tax filing, making it one of the world’s wealthiest foundations.
But Bill, 65, stepped down from Microsoft’s board in 2020 to focus on his philanthropic activities. This happened right at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic last year. He began spending more time on the foundation alongside Melinda Gates.
Gates Help The World during COVID
As the coronavirus crisis deepened, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation committed $105million and a further $160million. Thus, making them the second-largest donors to the World Health Organisation (WHO) behind America.
Their aim was to improve detection and distribute a vaccine to developing countries, particularly in South Asia and Africa, where a lot of the foundation’s funds were directed.
Bill Gates reportedly also came under fire for being a staunch supporter of intellectual property rights for vaccine makers. While Bill says protecting the shots’ recipes will ensure incentives for research and development, critics claim that mentality hampers supply in favour of drug company profits.
Gates’ Assets That Wowed The World
Gates led the company as chairman and CEO until stepping down as CEO in January 2000, and was succeeded by Steve Ballmer. Even so, he still is the fourth wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes. Just behind Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, LVMH’s Bernard Arnault and Tesla’s Elon Musk, Gates is worth $124bn..
In addition to the company of course, the couple, who have three children, also own a custom mansion, which in 2020 was valued at $130.8 million, according to the King County Department of Assessments, on Lake Washington. It lies between Seattle and its Eastside suburbs including Redmond, where Microsoft is headquartered.
Finally, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It closed in 2019 with net assets of $43.3 billion, the last full-year financials disclosed on its website. Warren Buffett donated more than $29 billion of his fortune to the Gates Foundation since 2006, according to filings.
It is indeed sad news for the entire Gates family as they both decide to part ways. Here’s wishing them individual happiness. The fact that they still decide to work together for the foundation shows that personal equation has no place in their mission to serve humanity. Here’s more power to philanthropic pair!
News source: CNBC