Bill Gates and Melinda Gates announced their divorce on Monday, ending their 27-year marriage. The news has since created social media frenzy, with some showing their disappointment, while some speculating if the billionaire is getting back to his old flame Ann Winblad. And then many have been also trying to dig into the past of Bill and Winblad's relationship.
Winblad, 70, who is an equally successful tech personality and is considered one of the first female programmers, shares a long association with the Microsoft founder. Ann is currently a venture capitalist, developer and a businesswoman. And many believe that they won't be surprised if Bill goes back to his old flame after his divorce.
Bill Gates and Ann Winblad
Bill was in a relationship with Winblad before he tied the knot with Melinda in 1994. The two were dating and were also the talk of the town at that time. Winblad is an equally prominent personality in the tech world. She was also the founder of one of the first software companies, Open Systems, and is one of the earliest women to become a professional programmer.
However, she sold off her company and the software for $15 million and started consulting for other tech companies. Winblad was only 32 then. Microsoft was one of her clients, where she met Bill for the first time.
It's not known how they fell for each other but the soon started dating. Bill and Winblad dated for substantial amount of time in the 1980s, but when they split, it was on decidedly good terms. The two never married. Their friendship and the business partnership continued long after the romance ended and they are, reportedly, still on good terms.
This is where the speculation started. According to a report in Distractify, Bill and Melinda even signed an agreement before their marriage where there was a clause that stated Bill was allowed to spend at least one weekend a year with Winblad.
Where is Winbald Now?
Winblad is currently a venture capitalist, developer and an undoubtedly a successful businesswoman. According to her LinkedIn profile, Winblad is a founding partner at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners (HWVP), a venture firm focused on software investing. Her company is also one of the leading investors in enterprise software companies.
Winblad and Bill too worked on ventures for year. Bill even partnered her on Hummer Winblad Venture Partners in 1999. Besides, Winblad is also the Director at Optimine Software, based in the Greater Minneapolis area.
OptiMine Software is an optimization platform. It helps digital advertisers to increase the display and paid search financial performance.
That said, much like Bill, she too is into philanthropy, another commonality of their interest and is a trustee of Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation that was established in 2004, four years after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The foundation's works focus on providing quality education to children in local communities and also supports families with resources to provide a better life to their children.