Board members for Microsoft decided in 2020 that the corporate’s co-founder, Bill Gates, wanted to step down from his personal position on the board amid an investigation right into a previous affair with a feminine Microsoft worker, in keeping with a brand new report.
The Wall Street Journal, citing individuals aware of the matter, first reported on Sunday that the corporate employed a regulation agency to research the claims after an engineer wrote a letter in 2019 that detailed a previous relationship Gates had with a feminine worker. The firm confirmed it opened what it referred to as a “thorough investigation” on the time, though it didn’t say if it had urged Gates to depart his put up on the tech behemoth.
“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 mentioned in an emailed assertion. “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.”
Gates resigned from the board in March 2020, in addition to the board of Berkshire Hathaway, saying on the time he did so “to dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities.”
In a press release to the Journal, a Gates spokeswoman confirmed “there was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably,” however insisted Gates stepped down of his personal accord.
“[His] decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter,” the spokeswoman added. “In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”
The report provides new scrutiny to Gates’ conduct following information of his divorce. Bill and Melinda French Gates, who have been married for 27 years, introduced their separation earlier this month, saying they “no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
In its personal report on Sunday, The New York Times mentioned Gates had developed a reputation at Microsoft for questionable conduct round ladies. The outlet, citing individuals with data of his conduct, mentioned he sometimes pursued feminine workers, together with one occasion the place he emailed a girl after a presentation to ask her out for dinner.
“If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,” the e-mail, which was learn to the Times, reportedly mentioned.
The Times additionally added extra element about Gates’ scrutinized contact with Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier who was charged with intercourse trafficking of women. The outlet published a story in 2019 noting the 2 males had flown collectively on Epstein’s non-public jet and attended occasions at Epstein’s townhouse, particulars of which reportedly prompted Melinda Gates to rent divorce attorneys.
The Times added that particulars in its story have been new info to Melinda Gates. Gates has not been accused of any wrongdoing in relation to Epstein and has mentioned publicly that he regrets his contact with the person. A spokesperson informed the paper on Sunday that Gates had solely met with him to debate his philanthropic pursuits.
Epstein later died by suicide whereas in federal custody in 2019.
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