Microsoft co-founder Allen: Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer schemed to rip me off after I got cancer

“Bill Gates schemed to take shares in Microsoft Corp. from his co-founder during the early days of the software company following his partner’s treatment for cancer, according to a new memoir by the billionaire co-founder, Paul Allen,” Nick Wingfield and Robert A. Guth report for The Wall Street Journal. “The book, ‘Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft,’ is scheduled to go on sale on April 17. A draft of the memoir was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.”

“In the book, Mr. Allen also positions himself as the spark of many of Microsoft’s most important ideas, playing down Mr. Gates’s role in some cases. Woven throughout the book is a bitterness Mr. Allen expresses for not receiving more credit for his work throughout his career and more shares in Microsoft,” Wingfield and Guth report. “Mr. Allen became one of the world’s richest people from the success of Microsoft under Mr. Gates’s leadership, with the vast majority of his wealth created in the years after he left the company… His early stake in the company created one of the world’s greatest fortunes—he ranks 57th on Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires, with an estimated $13 billion fortune.”

In 1982, “Mr. Allen says he eavesdropped on a discussion in the Microsoft offices in Bellevue, Wash., between Mr. Gates and Steve Ballmer, now the company’s CEO, in which he heard the two men talking about Mr. Allen’s recent lack of productivity and how they might dilute his equity in the company by issuing options to themselves and other shareholders. Mr. Allen said he burst into the room and confronted Messrs. Gates and Ballmer, both of whom later apologized to him and backed down from their plan,” Wingfield and Guth report. “‘I had helped start the company and was still an active member of management, though limited by my illness, and now my partner and my colleague were scheming to rip me off,’ he says in the book. ‘It was mercenary opportunism, plain and simple.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s nothing like a good love story.


    1. Since Gates and his friends promote Monsanto to erase all of naturally selected cultures of produced vegetative food in the world and replace it with infertile genetically modified organisms from this company, you can be sure about at least one of Gates intentions.

      Countless people around the world became bankrupt because on inability to fulfil seeding quota not having money; countless people killed themselves as result of this policy.

      And since GMO cultures tend to pollute everything around, neighbouring farmers become accused of theft of Monsanto property. Also, fertility of their grown cultures decreases, which makes them either buy their natural seeds anew, or give up and go buying exclusive GMO seeds from Monsanto each year.

      Besides monopolistic abuse by Monsanto, GMO products are not tested enough in long term circumstances for influence on ecosystem and human.

      1. Where do I remember that story? Ohhh … from Daemon, from Daniel Soares. (and sequel Freedom) … amazing book, go read before this sic-fi becomes reality … (bet 5 years)

      2. Whoa whoa there me bucko…slow down a mite in your accusations. Sure there are some profiteering in Monsanto’s methods but don’t push it to such a secretive extreme. You do not know what you are talking about.

        And yes, transgenic plants can be a good thing…in fact, it is inevitable so get used to it and ensure that it is regulated PROPERLY so that it will do no harm.

        1. It is not regulated “properly”; Monsanto goes into monopoly abuse wherever it is possible. And yes, naturally selected cultures are get erased from the Earth because of GMO pollution.

        2. Yes, regulation is very critical in this Frankenstein era of bio-genetics. But perhaps you are the one who knows not whereof you speak. Monsanto’s behavior is chilling and the consequences could be catastrophic. Read up.

        3. You are dreaming, dude. Transgenetic plants a good thing? In another universe, perhaps, but not in this one. All Monsanto cares about (ditto for the vast majority of big corporations, period) is making more money at any cost. Does the health of the people suffer? Is the sustainability of the ecosystem in danger? Hey, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs!

        4. Hahahahaha, “secretive extreme”. Trying a little too hard to defend Monsanto there, aren’t you, Buster?

          See? There really isn’t anything secret about what they do. Why are you asking DeRS to slow down with all the facts? Do you not like it when people tell facts about Monsanto?

          Also, yeah, I’m totally rooting for transgenic plants to become inevitable and finally rid the Earth of all that damn foodcrop biodiversity. Monoculture FTW! Nothing could possibly go wrong with that. Potato famine, you say? Huh? What’s that?

          To answer Joe’s question, the purpose of the Gates Foundation is to be Bill’s business investment tax shelter.

        5. Regulation?
          Oh you mean like the SEC under Madoff?
          Or the way the banks f***ed the US regulated banking system?
          Or the way the Pentagon ‘lost’ 2 Trillion even though all Govt. spending is regulated?

          Monsanto is a for-profit enterprise – they will sell their children if it makes a profit.
          Wake up, ‘Bucko’, the world is being sold off and you arent awake.

          The Fox is in the henhouse and the Farmer has had his shotgun regulated away…
          Get it?

        6. “And yes, transgenic plants can be a good thing”
          “so get used to it and ensure that it is regulated PROPERLY so that it will do no harm.”

          By the time you discover the harm you’ve done, it will be too late. The seed stock and soil will have been destroyed.
          This kind of tampering with Mother Nature will have very dire consequences for our future on Earth. It is the product of a mental disease called the “I Know” disease, AKA arrogance.
          Those who eat seedless food will become seedless. From what I’ve read about Monsanto, this could very well be the plan.

      3. People…do not confuse defending Monsanto and my support of transgenics. These are two different things entirely. I have many years of experience in the field having created some of the transgenes in rice.
        It slays me when you have people who rather put up with, and expose their family to, cancer-causing pesticides rather than support insect resistant transgenics even if they are only destined for cattle consumption or for the clothes industry..
        To much emotional and religious thought and not enough critical thinking.

        1. So you are biased because you are in the transgenics biz. So much for critical thinking. You have a vested interest in the technology, so you will naturally diminish the downside. “Only destined for cattle consumption” ??? And what happens to these cattle? When we mess with the food chain we’re asking for trouble. Certainly carcinogenic pesticides are as bad or worse than GMOs, but that doesn’t make Frankenfood ok.

          1. Cripes…paint everyone with the same brush eh? Clearly from your overt pre-judgemental response you have no experience other than what…a gut feeling?
            Whether I am biased or not is not even the issue as I can talk for hours about plant breeding that produced your ‘natural’ plants. Most of the foods you eat including mushrooms are not ‘natural’…they are man-made. Those store bought mushrooms on your pizza are not ‘natural’…they are an artificial breed.
            Why do you try something rational like…reading…before you pontificate about things you are not knowledgable about.
            Oh…and transgenic rice to include retinoic acid in it is destined to help the 300,000 kids in Africa that get a type of blindness caused by Vitamin A deficiency. I suppose these frankenfoods should be banned to save these children eh? Maybe we should let them decide……not you.

            1. I can understand you being sensitive about this subject. Not sure what you mean by “overt pre-judgemental.” You have no idea who you’re talking to, yet you’ve already decided I know nothing. You don’t know what I’ve read or what my experience is on this subject.

              I’ve spent 15 years in the produce business and have read quite a lot on this matter.

              I’m not a botanist, but I do know the difference between selective breeding and hybridization to produce various cultivars and introducing genes from species that would normally have no contact with one another.

              Like I said; I can appreciate you’re efforts are well intentioned and I don’t doubt that they are doing good. But there are many unknowns which we will all probably find out about after the damage is done. You can argue that that’s the price we have to pay for progress. That it’s a case of the lesser of two evils. I’m skeptical of any utopianistic claims or any viewpoint that doesn’t at least acknowledge it’s own shortcomings or contradictions.

              You seem to be totally confident in the value of your work, which is logical. But why enter into a discussion if all your’e going to do is insult people who disagree with you. You can’t change people’s minds by insulting them.

            2. From Monsanto’s wikipedia entry:

              “Monsanto was drawn into the Genetically modified food controversies over the Pusztai affair. Dr. Arpad Pusztai’s experiments suggested that it was the process of genetic engineering, not the presence of the inserted lectin gene that altered the thickness of the gut epithelium in rats when fed genetically modified potatoes. In other words it was the process of genetic engineering itself, not the presence of pesticides caused by the engineering which caused the damage to rats. The publication of this study has resulted in much controversy.”


              It’s funny that you’re asking people to read about transgenic crops and Monsanto, when anybody who does so would quicky see what a bad idea transgenic crops are and how evil Monsanto is. Your defence of the GMO industry relies on people being too ignorant to realize that you’re bullshitting them. So you really shouldn’t be daring them to read up on the subject. Because they just might.

              Also, I’ve got to laugh at your claim that GMO is *destined* to help 300,000 kids in Africa. Here on MDN, that’s a little something we like to call vapourware.

    1. NO – they lied and stole from everyone.

      Try to understand: Big Business is THEFT, LIES, and general Criminality. Or do you think its just a bunch of hard-working guys?
      As Tolstoy said, “behind every great fortune, there is a great crime”

      Once Steve Jobs is gone, sadly Apple will be the same. Only a few men with courage exist on the crazy planet.

  1. Are we honestly surprised by this? By he way, the purpose of the B&MGF is to give back ill gotten gains, so that just in case there is a heaven and hell beyond life as we know it, Billy has a chance to go to heaven. Although as I recall, the South Park crew already has Bill in the BBQ pit.

    1. From Wiki

      The foundation invests the assets that it has not yet distributed, with the exclusive goal of maximizing the return on investment. As a result, its investments include companies that have been criticized for worsening poverty in the same developing countries where the Foundation is attempting to relieve poverty.[54] These include companies that pollute heavily and pharmaceutical companies that do not sell into the developing world.[55] In response to press criticism, the foundation announced in 2007 a review of its investments to assess social responsibility.[56] It subsequently cancelled the review and stood by its policy of investing for maximum return, while using voting rights to influence company practices.[57]

    2. Melinda gets more credit than Bill. Back in the 80s and 90s, the Gates Foundation typically would identify schools and other venues where Apple was strong, and then donate windows pcs, with the requirement that no other computer OS could be used. It was originally the only purpose of the foundation. I was on the board of a non-profit art school where this very thing happened.

      Beyond that, the foundation participated in larger scale schemes a la Gates’ and his daddy’s Bayshore Investment (and corruption) operation.

      It appears Melinda talked Bill into actually trying to help somebody other than himself, although I figure that work is still little more than a fig leaf.

      “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones” — Shakespeare (Oxford)

      1. I remember an episode of Charlie Rose some years ago where Bill Gates was saying that the poor needed to “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps”. Nonsense like that. It was Warren Buffet, who was also being interviewed, who suggested to Bill that he ought to consider using some of his fortune to help the poor. Of course, being the ruthless money-grubber that he is, Bill found a way to make a profit from his charitable foundation, too.

  2. Greedy little weasels never have enough do they.

    Allen, Jobs, Ballmer… they don’t add up to more than a row of beans in human terms, as I have yet to be persuaded that Gates had anything but PR in mind to give away some billions to good causes..

  3. I don’t know how many of us would like to be judged by what we did or said thirty years ago – especially if we worked long days, had too little sleep, too little time for reflection and were probably emotionally ill-equipped to deal with our thirty-year-old partner’s battle with cancer…besides, they all ended up as billionaires; seems like hype to sell another CEO book.
    That said, I’m not trying to be a Gates apologist (don’t care, really); all I know of Melinda is from watching her TEDTalk, and I can’t help but think that Bill “married up.”

    1. You can’t be serious! I, like many others, worked very long hours at that age, frequent all-nighters, for a tiny salary, and I never thought to compromise my principles and ethics, especially toward a colleague, a founder, who was seriously ill.

  4. “‘It was mercenary opportunism, plain and simple.’””

    Gates showed the same take early on when he worked with Steve Jobs and stole the concepts for the Mac OS.

    “Its just business, get over it. ”

    Just a thought,

  5. Did you really expect Ballmer & Gates to be men of honor? The cult of Microsoft is creepy from the head men down. And that’s pretty creepy. Sure some think Apple is a religion too but at least it’s a “religion” that works! When you live in Microsoft’s world you have to falsely justify that existence and make all flaws a feature. Both systems come from completely different philosophical points of view. Windows is a completely cynical OS while the Mac OS is one of hope and optimism.

    And isn’t it amazing they pursue the whole “Windows MUST run on a tablet or bust” stance. Time to jettison all ties to an operating system from the 80’s. They know that if they do that it would equalize and minimalize their position even more. So a new chassis gets strapped to the same Model T undercarriage and flaws therein. No progress here folks, move on!

  6. Busines is business. Cancer is a tragic affliction, but in the corporate world you’re either contributing or you’re not. Shareholders want to see the bottom line going up, not huge paydays to incapacitated executives.

    It’s a pitty Apple’s execs and shareholders aren’t as shrewd. Jobs just continues to cost his company, you shareholders, and myself truckloads of cash as he sits at home and rakes in his monster CEO salary.

        1. Jobs has made it clear that he has no interest in being the richest man in the cemetery. Honestly, is there any doubt that he could demand all the stock options he wanted, just to be in line with Ballmer’s compensation? But, he doesn’t. He’s all about the revolution and innovation. Of course, he has a fiduciary responsibility to the corporation, so he does have to carry a big stick sometimes.

        2. Not quite–it’s only income if he sells some or all of his shares (other companies you might get dividends, but Apple doesn’t do this). Until then he’s not making a cent off of them.

      1. @C1…I despair somedays. I think the plethora of reality shows is to blame for the dumbing down of North America…..that and eating artificially bread mushrooms 🙂

  7. Seriously? This is even a story?

    Lets see a billionaire who left the company in the early 80s before the company even really took off to becoming the behemoth it is today is complaining that two guys were conversing about how much he was contributing to the company 30 years ago?

    Every CEO and top dog at every company stepped on someone’s fingers as they climbed the ladder. Its just a sad fact of life.

    At least Paul can cry himself to sleep in a pit of money every night.

    1. And Allen still isn’t satisfied. Now he’s become a patent troll and hope to make billions more litigating against tech firms and their alleged patent violations.

      I guess cancer does that to ya.

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