Bill Gates’ Affair With A Prior Microsoft Employee Disclosed
Bill Gates was asked to leave the Microsoft board after reports disclosed that he had a romantic relationship with a female employee, as per a report published Sunday.
The founder and former head of the US technology giant left his designation as ‘board chair’ in March 2020.
"Microsoft Corporation board members decided that Bill Gates should be step down from its board in 2020 as they followed an investigation into the billionaire’s previous romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee that was considered inappropriate," the Wall Street Journal reported, mentioning details to the people close to the matter.
“This was an affair almost 20 years back which ended politely," stated a spokeswoman for Gates as she updated the Journal.
As per the spokeswoman, the reason behind his leaving Microsoft was to focus more on his humanitarian organization, the ‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’.
Gates and his wife Melinda, who initiated their charity almost two decades ago to fight poverty and disease across the globe, announced their divorce on May 3 after 27 years of marriage.
According to a spokesperson for Microsoft, the company was warned in the second half of 2019 that "Bill Gates tried to initiate a close relationship with a company employee in the year 2000. The matter was reviewed by a committee of the Board, as well as by an outside law firm, to conduct a thorough investigation."
The employee, an engineer, stated in a letter to have had a close relationship with Gates "for years," reported by the Journal.
According to the Journal, few board members also questioned links between Gates and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in jail in 2019 as he was awaiting trial for allegedly trafficking minors.
Gates’s team assured the board that Gates had met Epstein for "charitable reasons" and "regretted" later, the Journal said.
Gates, who laid the foundation of Microsoft in 1975, stepped down as the company’s CEO in 2000, stating he wished to focus on his foundation. He quit his permanent role at Microsoft in 2008.
His designation as ‘board director’, which he left in March 2020, was the last position that linked him officially to the company.