Bill Gates investigated by Microsoft board for alleged affair with employee, report says
CNN — Bill Gate’s 2020 resignation from Microsoft’s board of directors came after the board hired a law firm to investigate a romantic relationship he had with an employee, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Sunday’s report said that a Microsoft engineer had “alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship over years with Mr. Gates.”
“During the probe, some board members decided it was no longer suitable for Mr. Gates to sit as a director at the software company he started and led for decades,” according to the report. “Mr. Gates resigned before the board’s investigation was completed.”
The employee was not named in the article.
“Microsoft received a concern in the latter half of 2019 that Bill Gates sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “A committee of the Board reviewed the concern, aided by an outside law firm, to conduct a thorough investigation. Throughout the investigation, Microsoft provided extensive support to the employee who raised the concern.”
A spokesperson for Gates said, “There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably. Bill’s decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”
The WSJ report was published soon after a New York Times article that alleged Gates had “developed a reputation for questionable conduct in work-related settings.”
The Times reported, citing “people with direct knowledge with overtures,” that “on at least a few occasions, Mr. Gates pursued women who worked for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.” They did not cite the names of the people involved.
The spokesperson said that the “claim of mistreatment of employees is also false,” and that “the rumors and speculation surrounding Gates’ divorce are becoming increasingly absurd and it’s unfortunate that people who have little to no knowledge of the situation are being characterized as ‘sources.’”
They also said that, “It is extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, the circumstances and the timeline of Bill Gates’ divorce.”
Earlier this month, Melinda Gates — Bill Gates’ wife and co-founder of their foundation — filed for divorce. In a statement announcing their split, the couple said, “after a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”
Bill Gates is one of the richest people in the world. His net worth was $144 billion as of today, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranking.
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