After a 27-year union, Bill and Melinda Gates have announced their divorce.

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Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp., and his wife of 27 years, Melinda Gates, are divorcing, the pair reported Monday.

In a joint statement posted to their respective Twitter accounts, the pair said the breakup comes after reaching a mutual decision that they could no longer “grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the pair said.

Bill and Melinda Gates founded a private philanthropic foundation in their names in 2000, with a focus on financing health care, most of which is conducted in the world’s poorest countries.

“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,” according to the release.

Bill Gates is the fourth-wealthiest person in the world, according to a tally kept by Forbes Magazine, which lists his net worth at $124 billion, thanks in part to Microsoft stock.

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, led by CEO Mark Suzman, is under the direction of the couple and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett. It has 1,600 employees and a trust endowment of nearly $50 billion.


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