Microsoft executives warned Bill Gates in 2008 to stop sending flirty emails to an employee, but dropped the matter when Gates told them he would stop. the company revealed on Monday.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report that Brad Smith – then Microsoft’s chief legal officer and now its president and vice president – and another executive met with Gates. after the company discovered inappropriate emails addressed to a mid-level employee.
The newspaper reported that Gates did not deny the mail exchanges., and the members of Microsoft’s board of directors, who were informed of the situation, refused to take further action because there was no physical interaction between Gates and the employee.
Microsoft declined to comment on Monday, except to confirm information released in the newspaper.. Smith did not return a request for comment made through the company.
Gates’ private office said in a written statement that “These claims are false, recycled rumors from sources that have no direct knowledge and, in some cases, have major conflicts of interest.”. He declined to comment further.
This 2008 warning came more than a decade before alleged similar behavior prompted the company to hire a law firm in 2019 to investigate a letter from an engineer it claimed to have maintained. a sexual relationship with Gates for several years.
That investigation preceded Gates’ departure from Microsoft’s board of directors last year, but did not come to light until Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates announced in May that they had decided to end their 27-year marriage. The divorce was finalized in August. They both continue to run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.