File photo of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Photograph:( AFP )
Microsoft executives in 2008 warned Bill Gates to stop sending flirtatious emails to a female employee but dropped the matter after he told them he would stop, the company revealed Monday.
The letter from a Microsoft Corporation engineer claiming an affair with Bill Gates that precipitated his departure from the board in 2019 wasn't the first time some Microsoft directors were confronted with the billionaire's improper behaviour with female workers.
According to sources familiar with the case, Microsoft management found emails between Gates and a midlevel female employee at the firm more than a decade ago, while Gates was still an employee at Microsoft and chairman of the board.
According to the sources, the then-married Gates was flirty and propositioned the female employee in the communication.
Watch | Bill and Melinda Gates split up after 27 years of marriage
In 2007, Gates, then a full-time employee and Microsoft president, flirted with a female staffer via email and asked her to a meeting outside of work.
The firm became aware of the emails the next year, and executives from the group informed Gates that they were improper and had to be stopped.
Watch | Gravitas: Bill Gates quit Microsoft amid probe into affair with staffer
According to the Wall Street Journal, Gates accepted the facts and stated that he would not do it again.
The board, which was made aware of these connections, took no action.
"Microsoft has nothing to share other than verifying the veracity of the WSJ article," a Microsoft representative said on Monday.
Gates stepped down as Microsoft's president in 2008, although he remained on the company's board of directors until March 2020.
After 27 years of marriage, the former Microsoft CEO and one of the world's wealthiest men announced their divorce in May.
(With inputs from agencies)