Bill Gates and Melinda Gates are breaking up, but their charity will continue

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Bill Gates and Melinda Gates have announced that they are ending their marriage after 27 years together, explaining in a joint statement that they “no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”

Bill Gates is best known as the founder of Microsoft, who used his fortune at the helm of that company and partnered with Melinda Gates to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. The Gates Foundation has since grown into one of – if not the largest – charities in the world, donating nearly $ 50 billion.

Bill had joined his before roles at Microsoft as CEO (in 2000), a full-time employee (in 2008), and a member of the company’s board of directors to, he claims, better focus on philanthropy. Melinda had previously worked as a product marketing manager at Microsoft and oversaw a number of software launches before leaving in 1996.

It is not clear what impact Gates’ divorce will have on the Gates Foundation. According to the released statement, the Gates still share a belief in the mission of the Gates Foundation and will “continue our work at the Foundation” despite their separation. While both Bill and Melinda – along with fellow multi-billionaire Warren Buffet – act as administrators for the Gates Foundation, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman.