A few of Microsoft’s board members concluded that Invoice Gates ought to step down final yr as an investigation was being carried out into an alleged affair with an worker, in keeping with a report in The Wall Avenue Journal. Gates in the end resigned from the board in March 2020, which the WSJ says was earlier than the investigation had been accomplished.
The board reportedly employed a legislation agency in 2019 to research the matter following a Microsoft worker alleging in a letter that she had had a sexual relationship with Gates over a few years. The worker, who was an engineer on the firm, is claimed to have requested that Melinda French Gates, who was married to Invoice on the time, learn her letter, although it’s unclear whether or not that truly occurred. Gates and French Gates introduced their separation this month.
“Microsoft obtained a priority within the latter half of 2019 that Invoice Gates sought to provoke an intimate relationship with an organization worker within the yr 2000,” a Microsoft spokesperson mentioned in a press release to the WSJ. “A committee of the Board reviewed the priority, aided by an outdoor legislation agency to conduct an intensive investigation. All through the investigation, Microsoft offered in depth help to the worker who raised the priority.”
A spokesperson for Gates denies that his resignation from the board was associated to the investigation. “There was an affair nearly 20 years in the past which ended amicably,” the spokesperson tells the WSJ, including that his “choice to transition off the board was on no account associated to this matter. The truth is, he had expressed an curiosity in spending extra time on his philanthropy beginning a number of years earlier.”
However in keeping with the WSJ, some board members “determined it was now not appropriate” for Gates to stay a director at Microsoft as extra details about the matter was revealed, and Gates stepped down earlier than an official choice could possibly be made. Microsoft had earlier that yr pledged to enhance the way in which it dealt with harassment complaints after a number of girls shared dozens of their detrimental experiences on the firm on an inside e-mail chain.
The board additionally reportedly inquired about Gates’ relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted intercourse offender, however “have been instructed the connection was targeted on philanthropy and nothing extra.” A report in The Each day Beast, nevertheless, says Gates met Epstein dozens of instances between 2011 and 2014, usually looking for counsel about his marriage to French Gates. The New York Instances additionally experiences that Gates mentioned he was sad in his marriage whereas in Epstein’s presence “on not less than one event.”
Gates’ affiliation with Epstein was a supply of concern for Melinda French Gates, who employed divorce attorneys quickly after experiences of the pair’s interactions turned public, in keeping with the WSJ and the NYT. French Gates can be mentioned to have been sad with how Gates dealt with a sexual harassment grievance in opposition to his cash supervisor Michael Larson. The NYT experiences that after the girl who made the claims agreed to a settlement, French Gates referred to as for an impartial evaluate of the allegations and the tradition at Gates’ funding firm. Larson was placed on go away however later returned to the job; it’s not identified whether or not the report cleared him.