Bill and Melinda Gates agreed on how to divide their property and assets before announcing their divorce on Monday, US media report. The billionaire couple, after spending 27 years in marriage is reported to have signed a separation contract outlining how their estate would be split. Although the couple did not sign a pre-nuptial agreement before their wedding in 1994, they have decided to work together at their foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation once their divorce is finalized.
In a petition for their divorce, Bill and Melinda requested that property’s, business interests, and assets should be divided “as outlined in our separation contract”. However, the contract has not been made public.
The pair announced their divorce in joint statements posted on Twitter on Monday, saying “we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple”.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
Bill, 65, and Melinda Gates, 56, met at Microsoft — which Bill Gates founded and was, at the time, running as CEO. She started as a product manager as the only woman in the first class of MBA graduates to join the company and eventually rose through the ranks to become general manager of information products.
They began dating, but as Bill later told a Netflix documentary: “We cared a lot for each other and there were only two possibilities: either, we were going to break up or we were going to get married.”
They were married in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, reportedly hiring all the local helicopters to stop unwanted guests flying over.
Over the past year, the Gates, through their foundation, have been involved in the fight against Covid-19 and the effort to develop treatments and vaccines, and equitably distribute them around the world. As of December, the group had committed a total of $1.75 billion to the global pandemic response