Microsoft launches fresh investigation into Bill Gates sexual harrassment claims

Bill Gates and other executives will be the subject of an independent review into sexual harrassment claims at Microsoft (Getty)

Microsoft has announced plans to review how the company handles sexual harrassment allegations made against some of its top execs – including Bill Gates.

The 66-year-old billionaire, who recently announced his divorce from wife Melinda after 27 years of marriage, was subjected to the probe last year after an engineer alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship with Mr Gates around 20 years ago.

Now, Microsoft says it has brought in an outside law firm from Washington DC to conduct an investigation.

Once the findings of the firm have been compiled, Microsoft says it will make them public – which is expected to happen in the spring.

‘Our culture remains our number one priority and the entire board appreciates the critical importance of a safe and inclusive environment for all Microsoft employees,’ Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella said in a statement.

‘We’re committed not just to reviewing the report but learning from the assessment so we can continue to improve the experiences of our employees,’ she continued.

Microsoft has brought in an independent law firm to conduct the investigation (Microsoft)

Mr Nadella added: ‘I embrace this comprehensive review as an opportunity to continue to get better.’

The move to hire an independent firm to review the company’s investigations is a response to the demands of shareholders.

They want the global tech giant to be more transparent about the way it handles sexual harrassment issues.

This follows multiple complaints against Mr Gates, who co-founded the company with Paul Allen in 1975.

In May 2021, Microsoft chiefs decided it was ‘not appropriate’ for Gates to continue sitting on its board following the accusations, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Bill and Melinda Gates divorced after 27 years of marriage (Getty)

Microsoft said in a statement at the time that it ‘received a concern in the latter half of 2019 that Bill Gates sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000.

A spokesperson for Mr Gates told The Journal there had been an affair almost 20 years ago, and that it ended ‘amicably’.

They added ‘his decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter’.

When he left Microsoft, Mr Gates said he was stepping down to focus on philanthropy.

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