Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they are ending their marriage.

The couple, who has been married for 27 years, released a statement on Twitter.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the tweet read.

“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.”

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Bill and Melinda Gates. (CBS via Getty Images)

The couple founded their philanthropic organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2000.

Last year, Bill Gates, formerly the world’s richest person, said he was stepping down from Microsoft’s board to focus on philanthropy.

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The couple founded their philanthropic organisation in 2000. (Getty)

Gates was Microsoft’s CEO until 2000 and since then has gradually scaled back his involvement in the company he started with Paul Allen in 1975.

He transitioned out of a day-to-day role in Microsoft in 2008 and served as chairman of the board until 2014.

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