Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they are ending their 27-year marriage

Bill and Melinda Gates have announced that they are ending their marriage after 27 years.

In a joint statement, tweeted on Monday from their personal accounts, and signed by the couple, the Gateses said that the decision came after a “great deal of thought and work.” But the Gateses no longer believe they can grow together as a couple in this ‘next phase’ of their lives.

The Microsoft co-founder met Melinda French after she started at Microsoft in 1987. The two married on Jan. 1, 1994, in Hawaii, However, Melinda left the company in 1996 to focus on starting their family.

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The couple’s focus turned to philanthropy, global health and education with the start of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000

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