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- American business magnate and philanthropist
Bill Gates was told to stop sending “inappropriate” emails to a female Microsoft employee while he was chairman of the board, it has been alleged.
The married billionaire was flirtatious and propositioned the mid level employee, the Wall Street Journal claimed, but was allegedly called out on his behaviour by two top executives.
The allegations, which Mr Gates denies, are the latest in a series of claims about his conduct while at the company.
He has admitted to having an affair with a colleague at Microsoft, and is said to have made a number of advances towards female colleagues in the workplace, according to allegations made in the New York Times.
On Monday, Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw said that in 2008, shortly before Mr Gates retired as a full-time employee, the company became aware of emails sent in 2007.
Mr Shaw told the Wall Street Journal that Mr Gates proposed meeting the female employee outside of work and off campus.
“While flirtatious, they were not overtly sexual, but were deemed to be inappropriate,” he said, adding that no formal complaint had been made.
A spokeswoman for Mr Gates told the Wall Street Journal: “These claims are false, recycled rumours from sources who have no direct knowledge, and in some cases have significant conflicts of interest.”
The 65-year-old has admitted to having an affair with a different colleague at Microsoft starting in 2000 and lasting several years.
An external law firm was hired to address concerns raised by the woman, who was offered “extensive support,” Microsoft said, but it was only brought to the attention of the company in 2019.
Mr Gates resigned from the board in March 2020.
Mr Gates, 65 and his wife Melinda, 56, are currently engaged in divorce proceedings, with their marriage “irretrievably broken,” according to court documents.
He will be in the UK this week as Boris Johnson rolls out the red carpet for business leaders, as he tries to secure billions of pounds worth of investment in the UK.
Jellied eels will be served by a Michelin-starred chef tasked with delivering a menu "showcasing the best of British produce" before the Queen hosts a reception at Windsor Castle.
The Global Investment Summit will take place on Tuesday at London's Science Museum, where the Prime Minister will seek to drum up international investment and support for his green plans.
Following a speech, he will sit down with Mr Gates, who is advocating technological solutions to tackle the climate crisis.