It's the end of an era for power couple Bill and Melinda Gates as they took to social media on Monday to announce their split after 27 years of marriage, citing they can no longer grow together as a couple.

However, despite the divorce, Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, and Melinda French Gates, said in a joint statement that they will continue to work together on philanthropic efforts to address education, gender equality, and health care woes of the world.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the former Gates couple said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The world will closely watch how the philanthropists settle their estate, as well as the repercussions of their divorce on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the influential private charitable institutions in the world. It is, however, believed the Gates have a signed prenuptial agreement.

The couple, along with Warren Buffett, also founded the Giving Pledge, a campaign encouraging participants to give away more than half of their wealth. FactSet data shows Bill Gates owns 1.37% of Microsoft’s outstanding shares, which are worth more than $26 billion, CNBC reported.

The Gateses split follows the high-profile divorce of billionaire couple Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott in 2019. Scott received Amazon shares worth $36 billion at the time of their split, immediately giving away billions of dollars in direct grants to various progressive causes to give back, The New York Times noted.

In her line of philanthropic work, Melinda Gates has been working hard to champion the empowerment of women and girls. A former tech business executive, the Gates matriarch established Pivotal Ventures, a private investment and incubation company, in 2015. She recently announced a partnership with Scott for a new equity challenge as well.

Insider Philanthropy website founder David Callahan told the Associated Press that it's still early to determine how the divorce will affect the foundation and the humanitarian community. He noted that the possibility of Melinda Gates creating another charitable foundation would have a dramatic impact.

“[I]f Melinda Gates ends up with just some portion of that wealth and turns to create her own foundation, it would be among one of the biggest foundations probably in America,” Callahan said.

Bill Gates, being the face of the foundation's COVID-19 grants and advocacy work, has been hit with recent criticism over his strong support of intellectual property rights for vaccine makers. Critics claim the move will hamper supply in favor of profits for drug companies.

The tech icon announced last year that will be stepping down from Microsoft’s board to focus on philanthropy. He was Microsoft’s CEO until 2000 and then gradually scaled back his involvement in the company he co-founded with Paul Allen in 1975, serving as chairman of the board until 2014.

The Gates duo shared 27 years of a successful and fruitful marriage and bore three children, ages 18 to 25.

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