In a joint statement released on Monday, the couple said “after a lot of thought” and “a lot of work” that they have made the decision to end their 27-year marriage.
“We no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our life. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life, ”they wrote.
Bill Gates and Melinda French were married in 1994 in Hawaii.
Following the announcement, people shared a story early on in the couple’s relationship.
The Netflix 2019 series, Inside Bill’s brain, focused on the billionaire Microsoft co-founder and featured appearances by his philanthropic wife, with whom he established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000.
In one scene, before their wedding, Melinda remembers walking into Bill’s bedroom where he was making a list of pros and cons for getting hitched up. “He had to make a decision,” she recalls.
“I took the idea of marriage very seriously,” Bill replies in the documentary.
Bill “wanted to get married, but he didn’t know if he could really commit to it and [run] Microsoft, ”Melinda continued.
Bill explained that they had reached a crossroads in their relationship: “You know we care a lot about each other and there were only two possibilities: either we were going to break up or we were going to get married. .
However, the couple did not detail what was on the list.
Bill and Melinda Gates met shortly after joining Microsoft as a product manager in 1987, when they sat side by side at a business dinner in New York City.
On the Netflix show, Bill described his wife, who is nine years younger, as “a lot like me in that she is optimistic and interested in science.” She’s better with people than me ”.
In 2013, Melinda told the Seattle Times: “I met Bill when we were both still young. I was 23 and he was 32, and he was still building the business. I saw what it took.
“So even though the media was talking about him in a certain way, he wasn’t the person I knew… so we grew up during those times together.”