The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Bill Gates left Microsoft’s board of directors in 2020, during an investigation into the billionaire’s affectionate relationship with an employee of the company.
The founder and former president of the US tech giant resigned as chairman of the board of directors in March 2020. “Microsoft’s board members decided that Bill Gates should step down in 2020, while conducting an investigation into the billionaire’s affectionate relationship with Microsoft.” The newspaper reported, citing sources. Close to the lawsuit, “that the employee who was found to be inappropriate.”
A spokeswoman for Gates told the Wall Street Journal that “this is a case that ended 20 years ago amicably.”
The spokeswoman said that Gates left Microsoft to focus more on his charitable organization, the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”.
Gates and his wife Melinda, who co-founded this foundation two decades ago to combat poverty and disease in the world, announced their divorce on May 3, after 27 years of marriage.
A Microsoft spokesperson told AFP that the company was alerted in the second half of 2019 that “Bill Gates attempted to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in 2000. A board committee reviewed the case, with the assistance of an outside law firm, in order to conduct a thorough investigation.” “.
The Wall Street Journal reported that “the employee, who is an engineer, said in a letter that she had been in a relationship with Gates for years.”
According to the newspaper, some board members also questioned relations between Gates and Jeffrey Epstein. The financier committed suicide in prison in 2019, awaiting trial for alleged child trafficking.
The Gates team reassured the board that the Microsoft founder had met Epstein for “charitable reasons” and that he “regrets it,” according to the newspaper.
Gates, who founded Microsoft in 1975, resigned as CEO of the company in 2000, claiming he wanted to focus on founding it. In 2008, he left office entirely. His position as director of the board of directors was the last that formally linked him to the company.