According to reports from The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft’s board members were in favor of having Bill Gates step down as director last year while an investigation was being conducted into his alleged affair with a female employee.
A law firm was hired by a committee comprised of Microsoft board members to look into the allegations, which were contained within a letter received last year from an employee who claimed she had a sexual relationship with Gates almost 20 years ago.
Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, Gates resigned from the Microsoft board in March 2020. In a press release, the billionaire stated that he was resigning because he wanted to focus on his philanthropy, but would continue to serve as a technical adviser to Chief Executive Satya Nadella.
A spokesperson for Gates does acknowledge that he had an affair nearly 20 years ago that ended amicably, but maintains his “decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter,” and he “had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”