According to reports, Co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates had an affair with an engineer from the company. After Microsoft initiated an investigation into the matter, Bill Gates decided to quit the board. After the news Gates’ spokesperson confirmed that Bill had an affair 20 years ago which ended “amicably”. This news comes days after the philanthropic couple Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage.
“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 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,”
-said the Microsoft spokesperson regarding the matter.
Meanwhile, Bill Gates’ spokesperson also issued a statement admitting to the affair and said-
“There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.”
While reports are suggesting that Gates decided to step off from the board after his company issued a probe into the matter, Gates’ spokesperson denied such claims. The spokesperson said that the decision to step off from 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.”
It should be noted that Gates had resigned from the board of members in March 2020, just 3 months after he was re-elected for the seat. According to a press release, Gates had claimed that he did so because he wanted to focus on philanthropy and would continue advising the current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. In the same month, Gates also quit from the Berkshire Hathaway board, the company run by a fellow billionaire and friend Warren Buffett.
Bill Gates: The Affair, The Investigation, The Exit
It all started in 2019 when several women came forward and alleged experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination in an email chain. After the incident, Microsoft chief Satya Nadella announced several policy changes on how it would handle situations where employee comes forward with discrimination and harassment complaints.
In late 2019, the company’s board members found out a letter from a company engineer who asked for a change in her job and alleged that she had intimate relationship with Gates. After that, the board members initiated an investigation into the matter. As the fog in the matter cleared, Wall Street Journal’s report claims that the company’s board members observed that the affair had been inappropriate and objected to Gates’ position in the board in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Gates’ involvement with Hollywood predator Jeffery Epstein
Early this month, after the Gates duo announced their divorce, several new rumours started emerging as to why the coupled decided to call it quits after 27 years of marriage. One such report stated that Melinda had come forward to Gates and had raised concerns over his involvement with Jeffrey Epstein, Hollywood producer and convicted sex offender. According to reports, Gates had met with Epstein a few times.
After the rumours started making rounds, Gates’s spokesperson denied such claims and issued a statement which said-
“Characterization of his meetings with Epstein and others about philanthropy is inaccurate. The rumors and speculation surrounding Gates’ divorce are becoming increasingly absurd.”
Although, Gates’ interactions with Epstein weren’t officially part of the investigation launched on Bill, some persons familiar to the matter do state that the issue was discussed by Microsoft board members.
Melinda’s issues with Gates’ inability to handle harassment cases
Other than Gates’ involvement with Epstein, Melinda was also reportedly not happy with Gates’ ability to handle sexual harassment that was raised against Michael Larson, Gates’ money manager. According to a New York Times report, after the woman who had suffered alleged harassments agreed on settlement, Melinda asked for an independent review of the allegations and a deeper probe into the overall culture at Gates’ investment company.