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 relationship with a female Microsoft employee that was deemed inappropriate, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing “people familiar with the matter.”
Members of the board tasked with the matter hired a law firm to conduct an investigation in late 2019 after a Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship over years with Mr. Gates, the people said.
During the probe, some board members decided it was no longer suitable for Mr. Gates to sit as a director… Mr. Gates resigned before the board’s investigation was completed and before the full board could make a formal decision on the matter, another person familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Gates resigned from the Microsoft board on March 13, 2020, three months after he had been re-elected to his seat… That same day, he also vacated his board seat at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the conglomerate run by Mr. Gates’s friend Warren Buffett.
Mr. Gates and his wife Melinda French Gates announced earlier this month that they were ending their marriage after 27 years. In a joint statement posted on Twitter, the couple said, “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.” In a divorce petition, Ms. French Gates said their marriage was “irretrievably broken.” …The couple hasn’t said what prompted the split. One source of concern for Ms. French Gates was her husband’s dealings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the Journal reported.
Members of the Microsoft board became aware in late 2019 of the letter from the female engineer, who demanded changes to her Microsoft job and also shared details of her relationship with Mr. Gates, the people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Nadella and other senior executives were aware of the woman’s allegations, some of the people said.
Some board members asked about Mr. Gates’s dealings with Mr. Epstein, one of the people said…
In December 2019 — before the end of the probe — Mr. Gates was re-elected to Microsoft’s board at the annual shareholder meeting. As more became clear about the matter, board members were concerned Mr. Gates’s relationship with the woman had been inappropriate and they didn’t want a director associated with this situation in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the people said.
As part of her discussions with Microsoft, the employee asked that Ms. French Gates read her letter, people familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Gates married Melinda French, then a Microsoft employee, in January 1994.
Bachelor sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein gave Bill Gates advice on ending his marriage with Melinda after the Microsoft co-founder complained about her during a series of meetings at the money manager’s mansion, according to two people familiar with the situation.
Gates used the gatherings at Epstein’s $77 million New York townhouse as an escape from what he told Epstein was a “toxic” marriage, a topic both men found humorous, a person who attended the meetings told The Daily Beast.
The billionaire met Epstein dozens of times starting in 2011 and continuing through to 2014 mostly at the financier’s Manhattan home—a substantially higher number than has been previously reported. Their conversations took place years before Bill and Melinda Gates announced this month that they were splitting up.
Gates, in turn, encouraged Epstein to rehabilitate his image in the media following his 2008 guilty plea for soliciting a minor for prostitution, and discussed Epstein becoming involved with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation…
“[It’s] not an overstatement. Going to Jeffrey’s was a respite from his marriage. It was a way of getting away from Melinda,” one of the people who was at several of the meetings said, adding that Epstein and Gates “were very close.”
MacDailyNews Take: At this rate, the old thief’s quixotic quest to buy a stairway to heaven is losing several steps per day. In fact, that staircase might be karmically heading down to a not-so-nice basement studio next to the furnace where Gates can room with Jeffrey Epstein for eternity.