Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates have announced that they are getting divorced after being married for 27 years.

In a joint statement, Bill and Melinda Gates said, “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple”.

In the statement posted on their verified Twitter accounts, they also added, “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”

The Gates said the decision to part ways came because they believe they can no longer grow together as a couple in the "next phase" of their lives.

Gates met Melinda French after she started working at Microsoft, the company he co-founded with Paul Allen in 1987, and they got married on January 1, 1994, and together have three children.

Paul Allen and Bill Gates. PHOTO/COURTESY

They have been jointly running the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since it was established in the year 2000 with a focus on philanthropy, education and global health.

The Gates are one of the world's wealthiest couples and have an estimated net worth of $130 billion.

Gates started Microsoft, which now has a market value of close to $2 trillion, back in 1975 out of his Harvard dorm room together with his childhood friend Paul Allen, who passed away in 2018.

Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie. PHOTO/COURTESY

The separation comes two years after another of the world's wealthiest couple, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie, divorced 25 years and four children later.