Even the Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott divorce couldn’t prepare the world for this.
The man and woman behind Microsoft have decided to amicably part ways, announced Bill Gates on his Twitter account this morning (4 May).
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
The couple, who have been married for 27 years, explained that they “no longer believe [they] can grow together as a couple in this next phase of [their] lives.”
“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life,” they added.
Bill and Melinda Gates are one of the richest couples in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$146 billion (S$193.8 billion) according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
Can’t imagine even earning a scrap of that amount in my entire life.
In addition to their work in Microsoft, you’ve probably also heard of the ex-couple’s acts of philanthropy throughout the years, helping the less fortunate and championing change.
The non-profit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the world’s largest philanthropic organisations with a net asset of US$43.3 billion in 2019.
The foundation has focused on public health, education, and climate since its launch in 2002. The two will remain as co-chairs and trustees of the foundation and will carry on with their work even after their divorce.
“They will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation’s issues, and set the organization’s overall direction,” said a spokesperson for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dividing All Those Assets
At this point, you’re probably wondering: how on earth are they going to split their wealth?
Well, the two have reportedly come to an agreement on dividing their assets but the financial details of their decision are not known.
Bloomberg notes that the Gates’ wealth would likely be more difficult to split up than Bezos’ fortune.
Bill Gates’ net worth initially originated from Microsoft, however, he has since shifted much of his stake to the foundation. In addition, he has interests in real estate, energy, hospitality as well as stake public companies through Cascade Investment—a holding company he created.
Wow. When I die, I’m pretty sure the only thing I’ll have left to fight over is a single HDB flat.
Divorce Attorney Monica Mazzei said that the big question with regards to the splitting of the couple’s assets would be to what extent they plan on working together.
“Even in the most amicable divorces I’ve seen, the preference has been to split the foundation in two so that there’s more autonomy and less intermingling,” she pointed out.
Family Lawyer Janet George also noted that the public may never find out how they split their fortune as it can be hidden behind contracts. So don’t kaypoh, hor.
Feature Image: Facebook (Bill Gates)