Microsoft founder Bill Gates had an “inappropriate sexual relationship” with a woman in 2000 which led to his resignation last year while the affair was being investigated by the company’s board. The affair allegedly came to light after a Microsoft employee wrote a detailed letter about the affair to the board of directors in 2019 and allegedly asked Gates’ wife Melinda to read it.
Some board members concluded that it would not be good that Gates is a director in the company, which he founded and ran for decades, so he resigned before the board investigation was completed. The same day Gates left Microsoft, he also announced that he had resigned from his position on the Berkshire Hathaway board as well. In a press release, it was said that he would continue to serve as technical adviser to CEO Satie Nadel.
Gates’ spokeswoman added that his “decision to step down from the board is in no way related to the affair. In fact, he has expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy, which began several years earlier.”
He stepped down on March 13, 2020, just three months after he was re-elected.
The revelation of Geist’s extramarital affair came out a few hours after two separate reports about Bill and Melinda’s sudden divorce.
It was revealed that Gates invited two women who worked at Microsoft and his philanthropic association to go out with him while he was still married to Melinda. The women both rejected his offer, and nothing else happened. The report also states that the women in question are not expected to suffer professional consequences for rejecting Gates.
Some of the employees who spoke to the media said that they did not see Gates’ behavior as predatory, adding that he did not put pressure on women to obey his wishes.
It is not clear whether Melinda, whom Bill met at Microsoft in the late 1980s, was aware of her husband’s courtship of other women.
Melinda also reacted after Larsen, the man who oversaw the huge spread of Gates’ wealth, was accused of sexual harassment. In 2017, one person wrote a letter to Bill and Melinda complaining about Larson harassing female staff at a bicycle shop that is part of the Rally Capital company owned by the former couple. The woman reached a settlement in 2018, signing a non-disclosure agreement and receiving payment. Larson was sent on leave during the investigation, but was returned to work and still runs Cascade Investments. However, Melinda was not satisfied with the outcome and ordered an independent investigation.
Meanwhile, Gates sought marital advice from convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein during a dozen meetings at his $ 77 million Manhattan home between 2011 and 2014. Gates allegedly told Epstein that his marriage to Melinda was “toxic”. Gates suggested that Epstein join a philanthropic organization and thus “improve his self-image” after the 2008 verdict for inducing a minor into prostitution, according to the person who attended the meetings.
Bill and Melinda Gates, one of the richest couples in the world with a fortune of 130 billion dollars, announced their divorce this month, and Melinda said that the marriage was “irreversibly broken”.