Bill and Melinda Gates revealed earlier this month that they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage, but that they will continue to work together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s largest charitable organizations.
Microsoft Corp. board members decided in 2020 that it was not acceptable for co-founder Bill Gates to remain on the board while they investigated the billionaire’s previous improper romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
According to the report, citing undisclosed sources, board members investigating the matter retained a law firm to conduct an investigation in late 2019 after a Microsoft engineer said in a letter that she had a sexual relationship with Gates for several years.
Gates reportedly resigned before the board’s investigation was completed, another source familiar with the situation is quoted in the report as saying. When Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s board of directors last year, he mentioned that he was doing so to concentrate on philanthropy.
Gates was once the world’s richest man, and is currently fourth on the list, with an estimated wealth of more than $100 billion.
The New York Times also reported earlier on Sunday that Gates had developed “a reputation for questionable conduct in work-related settings.” According to the report, Gates made overtures to women who worked for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on at least a few occasions, citing people who were familiar with his behavior.