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Bill And Melinda Gates Are Divorcing After 27 Years – What Happens To Their $146 Billion Fortune?

After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates have now announced their divorce! I must confess. I did not anticipate that.

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Thirty minutes ago, Bill Gates posted a message to Twitter announcing that he and Melinda Gates, his wife of nearly three decades, were separating. Truthfully, I’m still a little in shock at the information. They always gave off the impression of being a loving couple who were equally committed to one another and to philanthropy. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the official name of their charitable organization.

It was simpler to understand when Jeff Bezos revealed he and MacKenzie Scott were divorcing. Jeff is a little younger than Bill, and in the years before separating he had physically transformed from a geeky CEO to a muscle-bound world titan. So it wasn’t entirely surprising to find that Jeff Bezos would abandon everything for a horny ex-weather girl. Are we about to find out that Bill Gates is dating a gorgeous young woman? It’s absurd to even imagine it. ORRR maybe Melinda found inspiration in watching MacKenzie live her best life ever after she and Jeff split up? MacKenzie is on a mission to be the world’s most philanthropic person, and she already has a new husband.

Bill just made the following announcement on Twitter:

pic.twitter.com/padmHSgWGc

— Bill Gates, May 3, 2021 (@BillGates)

Before this announcement, Bill Gates was the fourth-richest person in the world with a net worth of $146 billion. He was behind Jeff Bezos ($203 billion), Elon Musk ($175 billion), and Bernard Arnault ($155 billion).

Bill held the title of richest man in the world for more than two decades. He lost that crown to Jeff Bezos in July 2017 and hasn’t worn it since – and likely will never wear it again.

Through the holding firm they established, Cascade Investment, Bill and Melinda have complete control over their wealth.

As a product manager, Melinda joined Microsoft in 1987. Soon after she joined, they were seated next to one another at a work dinner where they first had a formal introduction. They dated for about a year before Bill popped the question – after he weighed the pros and cons of getting married on a white board. Melinda entered the room and observed the advantages and disadvantages listed. Awkward!

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Bill has already been dropped from Bloomberg’s ranking of the top 100 world leaders. I’m not sure if they’re just waiting till additional information is revealed or if that was a brief anomaly. ***UPDATE** They returned him

For perspective, when Jeff Bezos announced he and MacKenzie were separating (he also made the announcement over Twitter), it was in January 2019. Jeff and MacKenzie announced their engagement in barely four months. 20 million Amazon shares were to be given to MacKenzie as part of the settlement. With 60 million, Jeff was left with.

It seems likely that Bill and Melinda’s divorce will be considerably more difficult. Their business, Cascade Investments, holds large investments in numerous publicly traded and privately held businesses. For instance, Cascade owns a 47% stake in both the privately held Ritz Carlton San Francisco and the privately held Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Of it’s publicly traded investments, Cascade owns 25% of Ecolab, 14% of Canadian National Railway, 4% of Berkshire Hathaway, 10% of Deere & Company, 14% of AutoNation and 34% of Republic Services.

Additionally, Bill and Melinda have a sizable private real estate holdings, which I’ll include below:

            Though to be fair, even with a net worth of $70 billion, Bill (and Melinda) would still be in the top 15 of richest people in the world. Highly respectable, but odd to consider.