Bill And Melinda Gates Announce Divorce After 27 Years Of MarriageMelinda with Bill Gates (Brian Ach/Getty Images for The Lasker Foundation)

Bill and Melinda Gates have announced in a joint statement that they were getting divorced 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," the couple tweeted on Monday (3 May).

According to reports, they met in the late 1980s when Melinda joined Microsoft, reports Xinhua news agency.

They have three children and jointly run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"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," they tweeted.

"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."

Bill Gates is the fourth wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes.

Gates led Microsoft as CEO from its founding with Paul Allen in 1975 until 2000, when he left the position to become the company's chairman and chief software architect.

In 2008 Gates gave up his day-to-day role at the company to spend more time on the nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

(With inputs from IANS)

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