The Microsoft board of directors in 2020 decided that Bill Gates should leave the board because of a relationship with an employee of the corporation, which it considered inappropriate, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the situation.
Gates stepped down from the Microsoft board in March 2020, three months after being re-elected as CEO.
The corporation turned to a law firm in 2019 to investigate Gates' relationship after receiving a letter from an employee in which she claimed she had had sexual relations with Gates for several years, sources said.
Microsoft in the second half of 2019 received information that Bill Gates tried to start an intimate relationship with an employee of the company in 2000. The board committee reviewed the information, with a third-party law firm helping to conduct a thorough investigation, a Microsoft spokesman said.
During the investigation, some board members decided that Gates should no longer be head of the company he founded. Board members were worried that Gates' relationship with the woman was inappropriate, and they did not want the director to be a person involved in such a situation, amid the loud 'MeToo' movement, according to the publication.
Gates resigned before the board of directors completed their investigation, the source said.
In turn, a spokesman for Gates said that his decision to leave the board had nothing to do with these events, as he announced several years earlier that he would like to be more involved in his charitable projects.
Earlier, the New York Times, citing sources, reported that while he was married, Gates tried several times to win the favor of women working for him at Microsoft and a charitable foundation.
Earlier, Bill and Melinda Gates announced their decision to dissolve the marriage. They stated that in 27 years they raised three wonderful children and created a charitable foundation that operates around the world. The couple met in 1987 when Melinda joined Microsoft. They got married in 1994 in Hawaii. Gates is one of the five richest businessmen, his family's fortune is estimated at $ 130 billion.