Co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, Bill Gates, on Monday said he and his wife Melinda will be splitting up after 27 years.
Gates owns 1.37 per cent of Microsoft’s outstanding shares, which are worth more than $26 billion.
His net worth is $130.5billion, according to Forbes, and he has donated $35.8 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the Gates Foundation.
Gates broke the news via his verified Twitter handle @BillGates, stunning his 54.7million followers.
He tweeted: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.
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.
“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
Last year, Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s board and began spending more time on the nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alongside Melinda.
The two are co-chairs and trustees of the foundation, which launched in 2000.
Bill and Melinda met at Microsoft while she had been a marketing manager at the software company.
The announcement comes two years after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said he and his wife, MacKenzie, were getting divorced.
Gates and Bezos are among the world’s richest people, and Amazon and Microsoft compete in the cloud computing business.
Bezos split his $150billion fortune with MacKenzie in 2019 after his affair with Lauren Sanchez was revealed.
The Gates are notoriously philanthropic, giving away vast amounts of their fortune.
They, unlike Bezos, are both part of The Giving Pledge – a collection of the world’s richest people who have all vowed to devote at least half of their fortunes to charity.