"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," they said in a joint statement on their respective Twitter handles.
The announcement comes two years after the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, another of the world's wealthiest people, and his wife MacKenzie.
Also read: What is Melinda Gates' age?
Twitterati was quick to pick on the fact that two of the world's five richest people faced/are facing divorce. Here are some hilarious memes posted on social media:
Gates and Melinda married in 1994 and have three children. Bill stepped down as Microsoft chief executive in 2008 to devote more time to philanthropy and later left the board, keeping only the title of "founder and technology advisor." The couple has decided to continue running the Gates Foundation together.