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Melinda with husband Bill Gates
Bill Gates (65), co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft and his wife, Melinda French Gates (56) announced they would get separated after 27 years of marriage.
However, they said they would keep working together on philanthropic efforts, which have addressed education, gender equality and health care. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” Bill and Melinda Gates wrote in a statement that world’s fourth richest person Bill Gates tweeted on Monday.
He added, “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.”
While the separation might shake up Gates’ rankings of the world's richest people, the duo said it would have little impact on their philanthropic endeavours.
"Bill and Melinda will remain co-chairs and trustees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. No changes to their roles or the organization are planned. They will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation's issues, and set the organization's overall direction," a spokesperson for the foundation wrote in an emailed statement. "