Bill Gates is said to have resigned from the board of directors because of a relationship with a Microsoft developer. He is said to have invited colleagues to dates more often.
Microsoft’s board of directors is said to have urged company founder Bill Gates to resign in 2020 because he had a romantic relationship with an employee. The Wall Street Journal reported, citing informed circles. The Board of Directors considers this to be inappropriate for executives towards subordinates.
Members of the board of directors commissioned a law firm with an investigation at the end of 2019 after a Microsoft developer claimed in a letter that she had had a sexual relationship with Gates for years. During the investigation, some board members are said to have decided that Gates was no longer suitable to chair the body. Gates resigned before the investigation could be completed and a formal decision made, another person familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
However, Gates was re-elected as Chairman of the Board in January 2020. A Gates spokeswoman said:
“Almost 20 years ago there was an affair that ended amicably.”
His decision to resign from the chair had “nothing to do with this matter.”
Gates: focus on philanthropic activities
Gates stepped down from the Group’s Board of Directors in March 2020 . He intended to focus more on his philanthropic activities, according to Microsoft, it said at the time. In 2000 he handed over the role of CEO to his long-time colleague Steve Ballmer.
Melinda and Bill Gates announced in early May 2021 that they would be divorcing after 27 years.
The New York Times reported from an informed source that Gates had invited women who worked at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to dinner several times.
In 2006, for example, Gates attended a presentation by a Microsoft employee. Gates left the meeting and emailed the woman to invite her to dinner, two people familiar with the process told the newspaper. “If you feel uncomfortable with this, pretend it never happened,” Gates wrote, according to one of the people in an email read to the New York Times. The woman did that, said the two of them.
Six current or former employees prove that Gates made advances
A year or two later, Gates was on a trip to New York with a colleague on behalf of the Gates Foundation. Gates is said to have said to this at a cocktail party: “I want to see you. Do you have dinner with me?” . The woman said she was uncomfortable but laughed so as not to answer.
Six current or former employees of Microsoft, the foundation and the company that manages the Gates’ assets said the New York Times said these incidents sometimes created an uncomfortable working environment. However, some said they disapproved of the behavior but did not feel pressured. They said he didn’t blackmail women into following his advances for their careers.