Board members at Microsoft Corp. decided in 2020 that it was inappropriate for co-founder Bill Gates to continue to sit on his board, as they were investigating the billionaire’s former romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee who they said was inappropriate, according to a journal report.
The board reviewed the matter and held a “thorough investigation” with the help of an external law firm, the software giant said. Gates resigned before the council’s investigation was completed, citing another person familiar with the matter.
Microsoft in a statement said that “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 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,” it added.
According to an anonymous Gates spokesman, there was a relationship almost twenty years ago and that it “ended amicably.” The spokesperson told The Journal that ‘his decision to resign from the board is in no way related to this case.’
Microsoft didn’t provide further details on the investigation.