- Microsoft President Brad Smith reportedly asked Bill Gates to stop sending emails to female employees.
- The Wall Street Journal reported that Smith confronted Gates “more than a decade ago”.
- A Gates spokesman called the report “false, recycled rumors”.
Two top Microsoft executives told billionaire founder Bill Gates not to send emails to female employees “more than a decade ago” The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources.
In 2008, the company learned that Gates had sent “inappropriate” messages to an employee a year earlier, Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw told The Journal.
Sources said two top Microsoft executives – current president Brad Smith and former hiring manager Lisa Brummel – met with Gates and asked him to put an end to his behavior. Gates reportedly admitted the emails weren’t a good idea and said he would stop.
“These claims are false, recycled rumors from sources that have no direct knowledge and in some cases have significant conflicts of interest,” a Gates spokesman told Insider.
After Bill and Melinda French Gates got their divorce this summer, publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported that the Microsoft founder showed inappropriate behavior towards female employees in the company.
Microsoft told the Journal that the company’s board of directors hired a law firm in 2019 to investigate Gates’ possible affair with an engineer in 2000. Six former and current Microsoft employees told the Times that Gates created an uncomfortable place to work by making suggestive comments on women.
Gates had met with a financier and a sex offender Jeffrey Epstein several times, according to various news reports.
Gates stepped off the Microsoft boards and Berkshire Hathaway in 2020 and left his role as CEO of Microsoft in 2008.
Current top manager Satya Nadella owed the corporate culture to transform from a cutthroat environment to a more open space while increasing the company’s bottom line.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.