Will the headquarters remain there?
Both Melinda and Bill are committed to their work at the foundation for the foreseeable future.
This week, Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce in a typical Gates fashion, using consistent, clear messaging.
They released identical tweets.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. 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. 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. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life. -Melinda Gates and Bill Gates.”
It’s a huge announcement that will impact the non-profit sector as they spend billions a year around the world, focusing on global health and development.
- The Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment worth nearly $50 billion. It is based in Seattle and was incorporated in 2000.
It’s also a sad and very personal announcement, as the couple has been married for 27 years.
- Their three children are Jennifer, who is the oldest at 25, Rory at 21, and Phoebe, who is 18.
The Gates’ fortune includes properties in five states, a private jet, an art collection, and a fleet of luxury cars.
MacKenzie Scott, former spouse of Jeff Bezos shined in her role as a major philanthropist after their divorce.
She has since remarried and lives in Seattle with her new husband, Dan Jewett.
- In 2020, Scott took the philanthropy world by storm by announcing a total of $5.8 billion in grants to 500 different groups across the country.
- Jeff paid $38 billion to settle the divorce with his wife of nearly 26 years, MacKenzie Bezos in 2019.
“After a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” they said at the time.
It’s difficult to watch people struggle with such a personal decision when they are in the public eye.
Every move they make is scrutinized and questioned, increasing the pressure on a relationship that has stood the test of over two decades.
Most people don’t have the same choices that they do. For many couples their age, deciding to go their separate ways would involve a division of assets that would put one or both of the partners into poverty.
Money is a factor in making decisions in a marriage. Deciding to divorce is never easy and not done lightly in any situation.
If you had billions to share with your spouse would you consider a divorce?
What Will Melinda Gates Do Now?
It will be interesting to watch Melinda as she finds her own way.
That’s not to say she hasn’t made decisions or influenced the direction of her life and the Gates Foundation. The thing is, many of her accomplishments were seen in the context of the two of them.
In fact, many of her awards and recognition were jointly received.
Melinda has received honors and awards on her own over the years.
The following are currently noted on Wikipedia.
“In May 2006, in honor of her work to improve the lives of children locally and around the world, Seattle Children’s Hospital dedicated the Melinda French Gates Ambulatory Care building at Seattle Children’s.
She chaired a campaign for the hospital to fundraise $300 million to expand facilities, fund under-compensated and uncompensated care, and grow the hospital’s research program to find cures and treatments.
In 2007, Gates received an honorary doctorate in medicine from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
She was awarded the UCSF Medal in 2013.
She was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal 2016 of the United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN), Berlin-Brandenburg, “for outstanding services to peace and international understanding”.
Gates has been listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 12 in the list of 200 Most Influential Philanthropists and Social Entrepreneurs Worldwide.”