Bill and Melinda Gates announce divorce, leaving their nearly $150 billion net worth in question for their foundation

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  7 comments

By:   Theodore Schleifer (Vox)

Bill and Melinda Gates announce divorce, leaving their nearly $150 billion net worth in question for their foundation
While a divorce proceeding is typically a private affair, given how important Bill and Melinda Gates are to the world, this separation could have massive consequences for public life.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


The billionaire couple is getting a divorce.

By Theodore Schleifer@teddyschleifer May 3, 2021, 5:25pm EDT 1219646941.0.jpg

Bill and Melinda Gates' divorce will be closely watched, with possibly huge implications

Bill and Melinda Gates, the leaders of the world's most venerated and powerful philanthropy, said on Monday that they were getting a divorce — an earthquake moment in the nonprofit sector.

The billionaire couple sets the strategic vision for the $50 billion Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which they co-founded and which spends more than $5 billion a year on causes like US education and worldwide disease eradication. Their divorce potentially has enormous implications for their work.

The Gateses are America's most famous billionaire philanthropists, with the power and profile to corral foreign governments, lobby for policy change, and inspire other billionaires to donate their money to charity. During the coronavirus pandemic, Bill Gates in particular has been one of the nation's leading public health experts, appearing seemingly everywhere in the media and encouraging people to take the virus seriously.

The couple made the surprise announcement in concurrent posts on their personal Twitter pages. Upon posting the announcement, Melinda Gates added her maiden name, French, to her Twitter profile, suggesting that she may use the full name "Melinda French Gates" going forward.

In their statement, the Gateses said they would "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."

A Gates Foundation spokesperson said that the philanthropy did not anticipate changes to its work. Both Bill Gates and Melinda Gates will remain co-chairs and trustees of the foundation in their name, a spokesman said.

"They will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation's issues, and set the organization's overall direction," a Foundation spokesman said.

Bill Gates founded Microsoft decades ago but has increasingly turned more and more to his charitable work, resigning from Microsoft's board last year. Melinda Gates was an early employee at Microsoft herself and has been a hands-on presence for years at their foundation; she also has her own interest in women's issues that she coordinates through a separate outfit called Pivotal Ventures.

Disentangling a fortune of this size — the Gates family, for instance, is the country's largest private owner of farmland — is sure to be complicated. The Gates family has a net worth over $100 billion, and their separation could set records for the largest divorce settlement to date. The largest settlement ever was recorded a few years ago when Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest man, finalized a divorce from MacKenzie Scott for about $36 billion.

While a divorce proceeding is typically a private affair, given how important Bill and Melinda Gates are to the world, this separation could have massive consequences for public life.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago
While a divorce proceeding is typically a private affair, given how important Bill and Melinda Gates are to the world

Why?

We should never be dependent on private individuals funding things like health services. The "world" should not be in a position where wealthy individuals get to decide what public interest projects get funded or not. 

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
1.1  Ender  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago

Microsoft is a monopoly.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
2  Paula Bartholomew    2 weeks ago

From all accounts, their pending divorce is very amicable and they will continue to work together on their foundations.  Not all divorces are nasty.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
3  Thrawn 31    2 weeks ago

Welp, at least it doesn’t seem like it is going to be a nasty, drawn out affair. Sometimes people just wanna go their own way I guess.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
4  Split Personality    2 weeks ago

Well, I vacuumed today without being asked...

I saw a compilation of Melinda's comments and she clearly felt that Bill is too traditional and unable to be trained to do

basic housework on a shared basis whether it's laundry, cooking or cleaning and she's had enough.

The whole "growing as a couple" is BS for not in love enough to care anymore...

People in general are weird about emotional things like marriage.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
4.1  Ender  replied to  Split Personality @4    2 weeks ago

I lived alone for a long time. One learns to or has to do these things.

At one time I had to use a laundromat. I hated that. It was always better if you could find a laundromat buddy.  Haha

As far as them cleaning, they need to get real. With as much money as they have we all know they don't clean the house.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
5  Split Personality    2 weeks ago

We have a house keeper, a landscaper and an exterminator, but there are basic things like folding your own socks and putting them in the correct drawers, or picking up the dry cleaning together.

It's little things to keep us from becoming just roommates with assumed duties...we always shop together.

 
 
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