Bill Gates and Melinda Gates are separating, but their charitable foundation will continue

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Together, they announced that they would end their marriage in 27 years, explaining in a joint statement that “we no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in the next stage of our lives.”

Bill Gates is best known as the founder of Microsoft, who took advantage of his fortune as the executive of a company that worked with Melinda Gates to establish the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. The Gates Foundation has grown since then. With nearly $50 billion in donations, it is the largest charitable foundation in the world.

Bill previously claimed to have resigned from Microsoft as a CEO (in 2000), a full-time employee (in 2008), and from the company’s board of directors to focus more on philanthropy. Melinda previously worked as Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft and oversaw several software releases before leaving in 1996.

It is not clear how the Gates separation will affect the Gates Foundation. According to a released statement, Gates still shares faith in the mission of the Gates Foundation and, despite the separation, “will continue to work together at the Foundation.” Bill and Melinda, along with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, serve as board members of the Gates Foundation, but the foundation is headed by CEO Mark Suzman.

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