Bill Gates stepped down from the board of Microsoft last year to spend more time with his philanthropy, but the Wall Street Journal today reports that he was subject to an investigation into an inappropriate sexual relationship with an employee at the company and other board members wanted him gone.
Mr. Gates resigned before the board's investigation was completed and before the full board could make a formal decision on the matter, another person familiar with the matter said.
"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 spokesman 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."
A Gates spokesperson admits the affair took place "almost 20 years ago [and] ended amicably", but denies the resignation had anything to do with the investigation. Board members also took an interest in his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, which the Daily Beast now reports was closer than previously admitted.
Gates and wife Melinda announced their divorce two weeks ago, a parting widely reported as due in part to his dealings with Epstein and sexual harassment complaints against his "money manager", Michael Larson.
Bill, you're fired!