Bill and Melinda Gates are ending their marriage after 27 years, the pair announced in a statement on their verified Twitter accounts.
According to the statement, the two said they can no longer believe they can grow together as a couple.
“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. 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,” the statement read.
The couple founded their philanthropic organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, together in 2000. Since then, CNN reports that the foundation has spent $53.8 billion on a wide range of initiatives related to global health, poverty alleviation and more, according to its website.
The Gates have backed widely praised programs in malaria and polio eradication, child nutrition and vaccines. The foundation last year committed some $1.75 billion to COVID-19 relief.
On Monday, Melinda Gates filed a petition for divorce in King County, Washington, asking a judge to dissolve the marriage based on the couple’s separation contract.
Bill Gates is the fourth wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes, and is worth $124bn (£89bn). He made his money through the firm he co-founded in the 1970s, Microsoft, the world’s biggest software company.
In a separate statement, the Gates Foundation said the couple would remain as co-chairs and trustees of the organization.
“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,” the foundation’s statement said.