A hot potato: Jeff Bezos and his former wife MacKenzie Scott aren’t the only high-powered tech couple seeking a divorce in the Covid-19 era. After 27 years of marriage, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates have also announced their intention to part ways; at least, romantically speaking.
The joint announcement was posted to both Bill and Melinda’s Twitter pages simultaneously, featuring the same, brief explanatory message. The Gates say they reached this decision after a “great deal of thought” (which goes without saying) and “a lot of work” on their relationship. Whether that references counseling or simply a series of personal talks between the two, we cannot say.
In either case, it sounds like Bill and Melinda won’t be parting on bad terms. The couple’s charitable organization, aptly known as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been one of their primary professional focuses over the past two decades (it opened its doors in 2000), and they will continue to work together on it and other philanthropic projects in the future.
That’s good news for the general public: the Foundation has helped countless people across the globe, thanks to its significant investments in the fields of healthcare and nutrition.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
Bill and Melinda’s relationship reportedly began in 1987 at a New York trade show, but they exchanged their marriage vows on a Hawaiian golf course years later, in 1994.
The couple worked together at Microsoft for most of the 90s, but Melinda left in 1996 to work on their family. Gates followed suit a little over a decade later in 2008, when he transitioned away from handling day-to-day operations at Microsoft to focus more on the Foundation.
It remains to be seen what the future will hold for Melinda and Bill, but we wish them all the best. Notably, the couple — or soon-to-be-former couple — is asking for “space and privacy” for their family during this transitionary period of their lives.