Bill and Melinda Gates are calling it quits after 27 years of marriage. "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," they said in a statement Bill Gates tweeted Monday. The former Microsoft chairman and his wife are co-founders of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and they say the foundation's philanthropic work will continue, CNBC reports. The couple, who have three children, met at a dinner for Microsoft employees in 1987. They were married in Hawaii on Jan. 1, 1994. "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," the couple said in Monday's statement.
We "will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives," the couple said. Bill—the fourth richest person in the world, according to Forbes—and Melinda Gates are co-creators of the Giving Pledge, which calls for billionaires to commit to giving most of their fortunes to good causes, reports the BBC. But much of the estimated $124 billion Gates fortune has not been donated to the foundation yet, and Stanford University political science professor Rob Reich tells the New York Times that "the divorce may have huge repercussions for the foundation and for its work across the globe." (Read more Bill Gates stories.)