In a statement on Twitter, the billionaire couple said they will continue their work at their foundation, "but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives."
Bill and Melinda Gates met at Microsoft where she had been a marketing manager. The pair got married in Hawaii in 1994.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a merging of the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation, is an American private foundation founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. The foundation oversees $49.8 billion.
Bill Gates owns 1.37% of Microsoft’s outstanding shares, which are worth more than $26 billion, according to FactSet. Along with Warren Buffett, the couple were creators of the Giving Pledge, a pledge that involves giving away more than half of their wealth. According to Forbes, Bill Gates is the fourth-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $124 billion.
Last year, Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s board as the pandemic accelerated. He began spending more time on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alongside Melinda Gates. The duo are co-chairs and trustees of the foundation, which launched in 2000.
The foundation last year began distributing at-home COVID-19 testing kits via a lab funded by the foundation.
Gates has been both vocal and critical about efforts to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic, criticizing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control over its handling of the response and vaccine approval process and rollout.
When asked recently if he would share the COVID-19 vaccine recipes with developing nations, the tech mogul answered with an emphatic "no" when the vaccine patent relaxation question was fielded to him during a recent interview with Britain's Sky News.