"Every spring, as they have for more than a decade, Gates spends a long weekend with Ann Winblad at her beach cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina," a Time profile said.
Billionaire philanthropist power couple Bill and Melinda Gates recently shook the world as they announced they are getting a divorce after 27 years of marriage. “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple,” they posted on Twitter.
Following the announcement, a detail from an old interview started resurfacing about an unusual arrangement when Melinda permitted Bill to go on a long weekend with businesswoman Ann Winblad.
Apparently, Bill and Ann dated way back the 80s and while he ended up marrying Melinda in 1994, we learn in a 1997 Time profile written by Walter Isaacson that they still went on a getaway – and Melinda was perfectly okay with it.
“Another of Gates’ vacation companions is Ann Winblad, the software entrepreneur and venture capitalist he dated during the 1980s,” the article said. “They met in 1984 at a Ben Rosen-Esther Dyson computer conference and started going on ‘virtual dates’ by driving to the same movie at the same time in different cities and discussing it on their cell phones.”
In 1987, Bill and Ann decided to part ways and just stay friends, “partly because Winblad, five years older, was more ready for marriage,” shared Isaacson.
The profile also declared:
“Even now, Gates has an arrangement with his wife that he and Winblad can keep one vacation tradition alive. Every spring, as they have for more than a decade, Gates spends a long weekend with Winblad at her beach cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where they ride dune buggies, hang-glide and walk on the beach.”
“We share our thoughts about the world and ourselves,” Ann said about her bond with Bill. “And we marvel about how, as two young overachievers, we began a great adventure on the fringes of a little-known industry and it landed us at the center of an amazing universe.”
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