Bill Gates Said To Have Left Microsoft Board Amid Investigation Into Relationship With Employee

Last year, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates left the company's board and now it turns out that the board was investigating the billionaire's romantic relationship with a female employee that was deemed "inappropriate".

According to the Wall Street Journal who cited people close to the matter, "Microsoft board members decided that Bill Gates needed to step down from its board in 2020 as they pursued an investigation into the billionaire's prior romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee that was deemed inappropriate."

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Members of the board tasked with the matter hired a law firm to conduct an investigation in late 2019 after a Microsoft engineer, in a letter, alleged that she had a sexual relationship over years with Mr. Gates. The tech giant co-founder stepped down as board chair in March 2020, just three months after he had been re-elected to his position.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Gates told the Journal that the tech billionaire had "an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably." She went on to point out that Mr. Gates "decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on philanthropy starting several years earlier."

On May 3, Mr. Gates and his wife Melinda who co-founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in a joint statement posted on Twitter announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage.

The couple, at that time, didn't say what prompted the split. One source of concern for Ms. Gates was her husband's dealings with a convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died while awaiting trial for allegedly trafficking minors. 

However, Mr. Gates's team assured the board that the Microsoft founder had met Epstein for "philanthropic reasons" and "regretted doing so," the Journal reports.

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