Bill Gates would drive to work at Microsoft in his Mercedes before driving off in a golden brown Porsche that an assistant brought for him, in what staff believed was his system for meeting women, it has been claimed.
The 65-year-old announced his divorce from Melinda French Gates, his wife of 27 years, on May 4.
On Monday a report in Vanity Fair detailed long-held rumors about his serial infidelity, including how he would switch cars to try to cover his tracks.
‘We all assumed that it was when he was with women,’ one Microsoft employee told the magazine.
‘I knew there were many offsite meetings that were not on his calendar.’
Bill Gates is seen on May 22 entering Nobu restaurant in Manhattan with one of his two daughters, Phoebe, and her boyfriend. The billionaire had been keeping a low profile since the May 4 announcement of his divorce. New details are now emerging about the 65-year-old’s behavior, including reports of infidelity
Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, pictured in May 2018, shocked many with the announcement last month that they were ending their 27-year marriage. On Monday it was reported that she had hired a private investigator – something she denied
Vanity Fair reported that an aide to Bill Gates would drive to the Microsoft office in a golden brown Porsche, similar to the one pictured above, and then Gates would drive away in it. ‘We all assumed that it was when he was with women,’ one Microsoft employee told the magazine
Gates is famously an avid car collector, with a penchant for Porsches. He has recently purchased a Porsche Taycan, an electric car. Gates has previously owned a 1979 Porsche 911, and a Porsche 959 Sports – of which there were only 337 ever made.
Another employee denied the account, however, pointing out that Gates was meticulous with planning his day, famously dividing his time into five minute blocks.
They said he was ‘one of the most intensely scheduled people on the planet.’
Two sources told the magazine that someone in Melinda’s circle worked with a private investigator leading up to divorce filing, and the PI’s findings will form part of the case.
A spokesperson for the 56-year-old Texan called the claim ‘completely false. Neither Melinda nor anyone at her direction ever hired a private investigator.’
Vanity Fair reported that Melinda French Gates had hired a private investigator to dig into her former husband’s behavior, and that the PI’s findings would form part of the divorce. She has denied the report
Last month The New York Times reported that Gates, a father of three, pursued women who worked for him a few times when he was the chairman of Microsoft.
He once emailed an employee to ask her out to dinner, and another time told a woman who worked for the Gates Foundation that he wanted to take her out to dinner while they were on a business trip to New York.
In 2019, Microsoft’s board of directors opened an investigation into his behavior after it was notified about his advances on an employee in 2000, and Gates stepped down from the board the following year, after the company hired a law firm to look into the allegation.
A spokeswoman has said that his ‘decision to transition off the board’ had nothing to do with the affair, and Gates himself has described it as ill-advised and in the past.
The Gateses are worth $130 billion, according to Forbes. Melinda French Gates is set to become one of the richest women in the world following the divorce
The magazine also reported that many of the Microsoft employees were made to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to prevent them talking about his management style.
‘For such a long time you were told: ‘You have an NDA. You can’t talk,’ said a former employee, who signed such an agreement.
They said they were emboldened to speak about working for Gates due to the current reporting, but knew there were risks.
They said lawyers were standing by and keeping watch.
‘And these are not nice lawyers,’ they added.
The employee said that Gates, like many tech leaders, was frequently impatient and demanding.
A former partner who worked directly with Gates at Microsoft said that if a deadline was missed, the party responsible would answer directly to Gates.
The Gateses are pictured in February 2019. Bill Gates was described as an intense and demanding boss
The former employee called him ‘unrelenting’ and ‘condescending,’ adding: ‘He would ask you a question, and when you answered, he’d look at you and go: ‘That is NOT the right answer.’
It has now emerged that French Gates hired divorce lawyers in 2019 after meetings that Gates had with Jeffrey Epstein became public.
Epstein, who had been charged with sexually abusing dozens of young girls in the early 2000s, died by suicide while in custody in 2019.
French Gates was said to have been deeply uncomfortable with Epstein after their first meeting, and urged her husband to steer clear of the pedophile financier.
Yet Gates held several meetings with Epstein – to the chagrin of his wife.
A foundation spokesperson told The Guardian that ‘the foundation never had any financial dealings with Jeffrey Epstein’.
French Gates was also said to be unhappy with an investigation into Bill Gates’ money manager Michael Larson, in 2018, which ended with the woman involved receiving a payoff.
Bill Gates’s longtime money manager ‘rated the looks of female colleagues, showed nude photos of women in the office, bullied staff and made a racist remark to one employee’
Michael Larson, 61, has managed Bill Gates’s money for the past 27 years
Bill Gates’s money manager shared nude photos of women in the office, rated female colleagues on their looks and made racist and sexually-offensive remarks, former employees have claimed.
They described Michael Larson, 61, as an infamous bully who disparaged his female staff and humiliated those around him.
At a work Christmas party in the mid-2000s, sources told The New York Times that Larson was seated outdoors with a small group of male employees after dinner, with three female colleagues standing about 20 feet away.
‘Which one of them do you wanna f***,’ Larson asked them.
When a female staff member was attending Weight Watchers, Larson allegedly asked if it was to lose weight for him.
Another woman at his firm was allegedly asked by Larson if she would strip for a certain amount of money.
One woman who managed a local bike store complained that Larson repeatedly propositioned her, according to The New York Times.
Ybarra was hired in 2001 as an investor relations analyst. In 2004 Larson made racist comments
She repeatedly rebuffed him, but she claimed – in a lawyer’s letter sent to the Gateses, threatening to sue – that he had exposed himself to her, and said he wanted to have sex with her and another woman.
Bill Gates agreed to settle the matter by having a payment made to the bike store manager, the paper reported.
Melinda Gates insisted that an outside investigator review the incident and Cascade’s culture – an investigation that took place in 2018, as Larson went on leave.
He returned in 2019; Melinda was said to be unsatisfied by the outcome.
In November of one election year, Larson asked his staff about the best time to vote for the presidential election.
Stacy Ybarra, who joined the company in 2001 as an investor relations analyst, replied that she had voted that morning without having to wait in line.
‘But you live in the ghetto, and everybody knows that black people don’t vote,’ Larson responded, according to The New York Times’ sources.