Bill Gates’ divorce proceedings gained the international spotlight as his 27-year marriage to Melinda expired, but there’s a new headline this week involving philandering from the philanthropist Microsoft founder.
A Wall Street Journal story over the weekend reported Gates’ stepping down from Microsoft’s board of directors last year coincided with a company law firm’s investigation into a romantic relationship between Gates and a company employee.
It’s not clear whether Gates was planning to resign anyway, but where there’s smoke …
“During the probe, some board members decided it was no longer suitable for Mr. Gates to sit as a director at the software company he started and led for decades,” the Journal reported. “Mr. Gates resigned before the board’s investigation was completed.”
The employee, an engineer, was not named by the Journal.
The Journal story included a statement from a Gates spokesperson:
“There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably. Bill’s 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.”
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Journal wrote that the employee “alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship over years with Mr. Gates.”
The Redmond, Wash., tech giant addressed the matter, responding to CNN late on Sunday.
“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 said.
“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.”