There will soon be a brand new member of the world’s richest person list next year.
Bill and Melinda Gates announced on Monday that they are getting a divorce after 27 years of marriage.
The couple put out a joint statement on Twitter saying they will continue to work on their huge philanthropic endeavors together, but the marriage is over.
“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.”
Needless to say, there is a huge fortune to split up. Bill Gates led Microsoft from 1975-2000, and then segued into a role as chairman and chief software architect. He left permanently in 2008, primarily to run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates is currently the fourth richest person in the world with a net worth of $130 billion, trailing only Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault and Elon Musk.
He currently owns 1.37% of the outstanding Microsoft shares, worth over $26 billion.
The couple moved $20 billion of Microsoft stock into their foundation, and it has grown to a value of over $50 billion.
MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos is worth $61.2 billion. All eyes will be on details of the Gates’ divorce to see where Melinda Gates eventually stacks up in the uber wealthy first wives club.