Bill Gates’s tenure at Microsoft has come under fresh scrutiny amid revelations that the tech giant probed the billionaire founder’s intimate relationship with a staffer before he left the board of directors.
The latest news, days after Gates and his wife Melinda announced their divorce, could have major repercussions for the tech founder who has cultivated an image as one of the world’s most dedicated philanthropists.
Recent reports suggested a streak of questionable behavior by the 65-year-old Gates, one of the most prominent members of the US business elite who has been the target of conspiracy theorists over his funding of the development of Covid vaccines.
Microsoft confirmed reports over the weekend that its board began an investigation with an outside law firm of an affair with an employee.
‘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 company spokesperson said.
But Gates has denied that the relationship prompted him to leave the Microsoft board last year.
A spokeswoman for Gates told the Wall Street Journal: ‘There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.’
She added that Gates’s decision to ‘transition off the board was in no way related to this matter.’
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