- Microsoft president Brad Smith reportedly told Bill Gates to stop emailing female employees.
- The Wall Street Journal reported Smith confronted Gates “more than a decade ago.”
- A Gates spokesperson called the report “false, recycled rumors.”
Two top executives at Microsoft told the company’s billionaire founder Bill Gates to stop emailing female employees “more than a decade ago,” according to The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources.
In 2008, the company became aware Gates sent “inappropriate” messages to a female employee a year earlier, Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw told The Journal.
Sources said two top Microsoft executives – current president Brad Smith and former HR chief Lisa Brummel – met with Gates and asked him to put an end to his behavior. Gates reportedly admitted the emails were not a good idea and said he would stop.
“These claims are false, recycled rumors from sources who have no direct knowledge, and in some cases have significant conflicts of interest,” a Gates spokesperson told Insider.
After Bill and Melinda French Gates announced their divorce this summer, publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported the Microsoft founder engaged in inappropriate behavior with female employees while at the company.
Microsoft told the Journal the company’s board hired a law firm in 2019 to investigate Gates’ possible affair with a female engineer in 2000. Six former and current Microsoft employees told The Times Gates created an uncomfortable workplace by making suggestive comments toward women.
Gates had met with financier and sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein multiple times, according to various news reports.
Gates stepped down from the boards of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway in 2020 and gave up his role as CEO of Microsoft back in 2008.
Current top executive Satya Nadella took credit for transforming the company’s culture from a cut-throat environment to a more open space, all while increasing the company’s bottom line.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.