A spokeswoman for Bill Gates denied on Sunday that an investigation into a previous romantic relationship with an employee had anything to do with the fact that he left Microsoft’s board of directors last year. Elaine Thompson / AP Hide caption
Elaine Thompson / AP
Elaine Thompson / AP
Microsoft’s board of directors hired a private law firm to investigate a decade-long “intimate relationship” that Bill Gates had with an employee of the company. The investigation took place in the months leading up to the billionaire’s resignation from the board last year, according to a company spokesman.
“Microsoft received concerns in the second half of 2019 that Bill Gates wanted to establish a close relationship with an employee of the company in 2000,” a company spokesman told NPR. “A committee of the board of directors examined the issue with the assistance of an outside law firm to conduct a thorough investigation. Microsoft provided full support to the person who raised the issue throughout the investigation.”
A history On Sunday in the Wall Street Journal, the Microsoft board reported that Gates was about to step down while the previous romantic relationship, which was deemed “inappropriate”, was still under review.
A Gates spokeswoman, however, denied any connection between his departure and the board’s investigation.
“Almost 20 years ago there was an amicable affair. Bill’s decision to step down from the board had nothing to do with the matter,” a Gates spokesman wrote in a statement shared with NPR. “In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy from a few years on.”
Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and one of the richest people in the world estimated The nearly $ 130 billion worth was re-examined in the last few weeks following his divorce from Melinda Gates earlier this month and the end of a 27-year marriage. The marriage was “irretrievably broken,” wrote Melinda Gates in a court case.
A report The New York Times detailed how Gates allegedly “persecuted” several women associated with Microsoft and its foundation and “developed a reputation for questionable behavior in work-related environments,” the paper reported.
However, according to the Times, it was Gates’ friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was allegedly close to Gates, even after Epstein was convicted of sex with girls aged 14 that upset Melinda Gates and reportedly started the divorce process .
This sequence of events is denied by a Gates spokesman.
“It is extremely disappointing that so many untruths have been published about the cause, circumstances and timing of Bill Gates’ divorce,” the Gates spokesman told NPR. “The rumors and speculations about Gates’ divorce are growing absurd and it is unfortunate that people who know little to nothing about the situation are characterized as’ sources’.
Gates, 65, who warned of the dangers of deadly infectious viruses years before the coronavirus pandemic, said in March 2020 he is stepping down from the Microsoft board of directors and leaving his Berkshire Hathaway headquarters to spend more time on philanthropic causes, including global ones to use health and climate initiatives.
Gates’ resignation came three months after the Microsoft board reelected him to his seat.
Editor’s note: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one of NPR’s financial supporters.