Members of the board had hired a law firm to examine the issue in 2019 after a Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter that she had relationship with Gates over several years, the reports said. Gates resigned before the probe was completed.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Gates told the WSJ: “There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.” She said his “decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”
Gates was Microsoft CEO until 2000, chief software architect until 2006 and chairman until 2014. He remained on the board until March of 2020 when he resigned to focus on philanthropy and serve as adviser to CEO executive Satya Nadella.
The board news comes after Gate and his wife Melinda French Gates announced that they were splitting up after 27 years. They didn’t say why. But according to reports, one reason was that Melinda Gates was said to be concerned by her husband’s dealings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. A Gates rep said he met with Epstein for philanthropic reasons and regretted it.