Bill Gates, the co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, and his wife Melinda Gates on Monday announced that they were separating after 27 years of marriage.
In a joint statement on Twitter, they said that "after a great deal of thought and a lot of work" on their relationship, they had decided to part ways.
"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," they tweeted, adding, "but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives".
However, they further wrote that they will "continue our work together at the foundation (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)". They also asked for "space and privacy" for their family as they begin to navigate a new life.
Even though comments were disabled for the post shared from the official Twitter handle of Bill Gates, tens of thousands of users quoted his tweet and shared their views on the separation of one of the most powerful and influential couples in the world.
Carl Theodore Bergstrom, a theoretical and evolutionary biologist and a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, wished them "the best going forward" and added, "I respect the candor, regret the fact that you have to deal with the public eye in all of this, and admire enormously your ability to continue collaborating in your shared commitment to the work of the foundation. Godspeed."
Wishing you both the best going forward. I respect the candor, regret the fact that you have to deal with the public eye in all of this, and admire enormously your ability to continue collaborating in your shared commitment to the work of the foundation. Godspeed. https://t.co/bRTkAZCYWb— Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) May 4, 2021
Some users joked and asked if Mr Gates was single now. "Does that mean you are single?" asked a user.
Wow.. So now Bill Dates.. ???? https://t.co/V4LVHGMsFQ— Ayhan Gedik (@Ayanimuuu) May 3, 2021
Does that mean you are single? ???????????????????? https://t.co/D1gNDmv87s— ???? (@LagEsteric) May 3, 2021
Many questioned his stand over privacy. Some expressed their displeasure.
Isn't this ironic, the man who uses technology against us is asking for privacy. https://t.co/Rt64gOCWQJ— It's Just Me, If I don't like U, its b/c UR an A$$ (@10secondslost) May 4, 2021
I'm asking for him to respect my family's space as well. https://t.co/Ovh37FGGf3— Miles J Fenucci (@FenucciMiles) May 3, 2021
"We ask for space and privacy"— Jim Dandy (@JimDandyMD) May 3, 2021
Tweets to 55 million followers https://t.co/CQH7AG2VlZ
"Space and Privacy" while promoting vaccine passports? Yeah, I'd like some space and privacy too, Bill. https://t.co/BGpHTF3c5P— Al (@_fake_alien) May 3, 2021
I like my privacy too, Bill. https://t.co/XrvAoWLe6d— Joost ???? (@raretijden) May 3, 2021
The couple jointly ran the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which over the past years, has donated more than $50 billion in the fight against COVID-19, climate change and to advocate women rights.
In an emailed statement, a spokesperson of the foundation said the couple will remain the co-chairs and trustees of the philanthropic operation.