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Bill Gates was an office bully who brushed-off diversity initiatives as attempts to “destroy” Microsoft — and was once seen lying on top of a woman at a company event, according to a new report.
A former Microsoft executive told news site Insider that he saw Gates lying on top of a woman at 5 a.m. during a Microsoft retreat at a French Alps ski resort in 1988.
The two were “just snuggling,” the ex-executive said — but the alleged cuddle session occurred the year after Gates started dating his wife-to-be Melinda.
Elsewhere in the report, former Microsoft board member Maria Klawe accused Gates of dismissing diversity efforts during profanity-laden board meetings in the 2010s.
When board members suggested considering more diverse candidates for future executive roles, Gates would reportedly reply, “Are you trying to effing destroy the company?”
“The message was, ‘Caring about diversity has nothing to do with the success of Microsoft,’” said Klawe, a board member from 2009 to 2015.
Another former Microsoft executive told Insider that Gates was an equal opportunity berater.
“Bill yelled at everyone the same,” the executive said, adding that they appreciated the founder’s straightforwardness.
Other Microsoft insiders attributed at least some of his undesirable behavior to mere awkwardness. “He doesn’t know how to joke really or how to connect with people,” one former executive said. “If he told you he liked your hair, he wasn’t trying to flirt with you. He just actually liked your hair.”
The report on Gates’ questionable behavior comes as the world’s fourth richest man navigates a messy divorce from his wife of 27 years.
The divorce comes amid questions about the Microsoft founder’s ties to dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and reports that he left Microsoft’s board last year amid a probe into his alleged affair with a subordinate.
Gates has denied any “business partnership or personal friendship” with Epstein, saying their meetings were purely tied to philanthropy. But the Daily Beast has reported that Gates visited Epstein‘s Manhattan townhouse as a “respite from his marriage.”
Microsoft, which did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the report, has sought to distance itself from Gates’ alleged misbehavior.
“The Microsoft of 2021 is very different from the Microsoft of 2000,” CEO Satya Nadella said in May, adding that the company will investigate allegations of misconduct even if they are decades old.
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