Microsoft says executives told Gates to stop
Microsoft founder Bill Gates propositioned a female staff member in ‘flirtatious’ emails while he was at the company, according to the latest allegations reported by American and British press.
Microsoft has said that its executives had told Bill Gates to stop sending “inappropriate” emails to a female Microsoft employee when he was chairman of the board.
A spokesperson for Gates has rejected the allegations as ” false” and “recycled rumours.”
The allegations were first reported by the Wall Street Journal and have since taken the western media outlets by storm.
The married billionaire was flirtatious and propositioned the mid-level employee, the Wall Street Journal said. Gates was allegedly called out on his behaviour by two top executives, it said.
The allegations are the latest in a series of claims about his conduct while at the company, the UK’s Daily Telegraph has said.
Gates admitted to having an affair with a different colleague at Microsoft after the New York Times alleged that he made a number of advances towards female colleagues.
The confession was reported by the Wall Street Journal in May this year.
On Monday, Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw said that in 2008 the company became aware of emails sent in 2007. It was shortly before Mr Gates retired as a full-time employee.
Shaw told the Wall Street Journal that Gates proposed meeting the female employee outside of work and off campus.
“While flirtatious, they were not overtly sexual, but were deemed to be inappropriate,” he said. The spokesman added that no formal complaint had been made.
A spokeswoman for Gates told the Wall Street Journal: “These claims are false, recycled rumours from sources who have no direct knowledge, and in some cases have significant conflicts of interest.”
Microsoft has tried to distance itself from Gate’s conduct at the workplace.
When Gates admitted to flirting with another colleague earlier this year, Microsoft said it had hired an external law firm to address concerns raised by the woman, who was offered “extensive support.” But the allegations were only brought to the attention of the company in 2019, it had said then.
Gates resigned from the board in March 2020.
Bill Gates, 65 and his wife Melinda, 56, are currently engaged in divorce proceedings, with their marriage “irretrievably broken,” according to court documents.
Gates will be in the UK this week as Boris Johnson rolls out the red carpet for business leaders, as he tries to secure billions of pounds worth of investment in the UK, the Daily Telegraph said.
Jellied eels will be served by a Michelin-starred chef tasked with delivering a menu “showcasing the best of British produce” before the Queen hosts a reception at Windsor Castle, the newspaper added.
The Global Investment Summit is held on Tuesday at London’s Science Museum, where the Prime Minister will seek to drum up international investment and support for his green plans.
Following a speech, he will sit down with Mr Gates, who is advocating technological solutions to tackle the climate crisis.