Microsoft confirmed the journal’s report to CNN Business, but declined to comment. Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw told the Journal that “while flirting, [the emails] was not overtly sexual, but was deemed inappropriate, “and that the employee never complained about the incident.
A Gates spokeswoman, Bridgitt Arnold, denied the allegations in a written statement to the Journal. “These allegations are false, recycled rumors from sources that have no direct knowledge and in some cases have significant conflicts of interest,” she said. Gates representatives did not respond to further requests for comment from CNN Business.
“Microsoft received a concern in the latter half of 2019 that Bill Gates was trying to start an intimate relationship with a corporate employee in the year 2000,” a Microsoft spokesman confirmed to CNN Business in May. “A committee on the board reviewed the concern, assisted by an outside law firm, to conduct a thorough investigation. Throughout the investigation, Microsoft provided extensive support to the employee who raised the concern.”
A spokesman for Gates called the 2000 affair “an affair almost 20 years ago, which ended amicably”, in a statement to the Journal at the time. and said the company’s investigation was not related to Gates’ decision to leave the board.