On Monday, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife and philanthropist Melinda Gates announced that they are divorcing after having been married for 27 years.
In a joint statement shared on both of their Twitter pages, the couple said that they were going to continue their work on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation despite their split.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” they said in the statement.
“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.”
They went on to ask for space and privacy for their family as they begin to “navigate this new life”.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the pair have an estimated joint fortune of $146 billion (over R2 trillion) - making them one of the wealthiest couples in the world.
A spokesperson for their foundation also issued a statement re-affirming that there would be no changes to their roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“They will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation’s issues, and set the organisation’s overall direction.”