It looks like , 67, has found a love match with 60-year-old fellow tennis buff Paula Hurd, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.
Hurd is the widow of former Oracle co-CEO and president Mark Hurd, who died at the age of 62 in 2019 after a reported battle with .
‘They’re inseparable,’ a friend of the couple tells DailyMail.com.
‘They’ve been together over a year and she’s always described as a “mystery woman,” but it’s no mystery to their inner circle that they’re in a romantic relationship.’
Once a tech executive herself, Hurd is now an event planner and organizer, and philanthropist.
Her late husband, who spent most of his career at tech company NCR and later Hewlett-Packard before joining Oracle in 2010, had an estimated net worth of $500million at the time of his death.
And it’s no surprise that the paths of the Microsoft founder and Oracle executive -both prominent Silicon Valley figures – and his wife had crossed over the years.
Mark, a former college tennis scholar, and Paula were even pictured behind Gates at a tennis match in California in 2015.
But last month, it was Paula and Bill who were matched together when they were seen watching the Men’s Singles Final together at the Australian Open in Melbourne during a trip Down Under.
The pair also traveled up to Sydney where the billionaire met with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Gates and Hurd took the opportunity to take a romantic stroll around the city as they stopped to admire the panoramic views of the harbor and check out the famed Opera House.
Photos of the two taking in the sights were published at the time, but Hurd had not been identified.
It’s likely the couple may have bonded over their love of tennis.
Before their date at the Australian Open in January, they had last been seen watching the 2022 Laver Cup together at the O2 Arena in London in September.
The avid sports fans were also photographed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California as far back as October 2021, however, they had been sitting a few rows away from each other at the time.
Paula, whose maiden name is Kalupa, was working as an NCR executive in 1990 when she married her late husband, who spent 25 years climbing up the ranks at the company.
The couple, who were based in San Mateo County, shared two daughters, Kathryn and Kelly.
The Hurds were longtime donors to Mark’s alma mater Baylor University where they contributed a lead gift to kick off its $1.1billion philanthropic campaign in 2018.
The generous donation helped fund a brand new $60million welcome center named after the couple is set to open on campus later this year.
Despite earning her marketing degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984, Paula joined her husband in making major contributions to Baylor, such as supporting the university’s national championship tennis program.
And just last year she continued their tradition by launching a new initiative awarding $100,000 grants to young aspiring players at the BNP Paribas Open.
The program was announced on March 14 and just four days later, Paula and Bill would be pictured together watching the Women’s Tennis Association semifinal match in Indian Wells.
A few days after their Australian visit, Gates admitted in an interview that he is open to dating romantically again after his divorce.
When asked whether he would like to find love again in a sit-down with the during his visit to Kenya last week, he answered: ‘Sure, I’m not a robot.’
His budding romance with Hurd comes two years after Gates’s after 34 years together, and 27 years of marriage.
Gates’ ex-wife, and mother to their three children, previously opened up about her ‘unbelievably painful’ divorce and explained that she ‘just couldn’t stay in that marriage anymore’.
Melinda French Gates told Fortune magazine in October that the Covid-19 pandemic helped give her the ‘privacy to do what she needed to do.’
She also said in 2021 that her husband’s affair with a Microsoft employee in 2000 had broken the ‘trust’ in their marriage.
She described how she sobbed on the floor as her marriage fell apart, having never thought that the relationship would end in divorce.
The couple’s divorce settlement is America’s second-most expensive ever after Jeff Bezos’ $38.3billion split with ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos.