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Microsoft board had investigated Bill Gates' previous relationship with an employee: Report

"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 told The Wall Street Journal.

May 17, 2021 / 09:42 AM IST
File image: Billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates (Image: Reuters)

File image: Billionaire philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates (Image: Reuters)

Microsoft's board had begun an investigation into founder Bill Gates' previous romantic relationship with an employee, before the billionaire stepped down from the board in March 2020.

A Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship over years with Gates, The Wall Street Journal reported. Following the letter, the board hired a law firm to conduct an investigation in late 2019.

Some board members were of the view that it was no longer suitable for Gates to serve as a director on the board. Gates resigned before the Microsoft board could finish the investigation and make a final decision, the report said.

Also read: A look at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: What will happen to their charity after divorce?

"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 told The Wall Street Journal.

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"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," the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for Gates said "There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably." She told the publication that his "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."

Bill and Melinda Gates had announced their divorce earlier in May, ending their marriage of 27 years. The couple together run a charity called the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives," the couple said in identical statements released on Twitter.
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 17, 2021 08:16 am

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