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Microsoft’s CEO has finally weighed in on reports that the tech giant’s co-founder Bill Gates had an affair with an employee two decades ago — and insists that the company’s culture has changed.
“The Microsoft of 2021 is very different from the Microsoft of 2000,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC on Friday, noting that Microsoft has had a policy requiring employees to disclose office relationships since 2006. “Anyone can raise any issue, even an issue from 20 years ago, we will investigate it, take action to the satisfaction of the person who has raised it.”
Gates had an affair with a female employee in the year 2000, Microsoft has acknowledged. The tryst reportedly lasted five years, and the company’s board allegedly became aware of the relationship in 2019 and opened an investigation.
Last year, Gates left the board before the full board could make a decision on the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“The power dynamic in the workplace is not something that needs to — can be abused in any form,” added Nadella, who has served as CEO since 2014. “The most important thing is for us to make sure that everybody’s comfortable in being able to raise any issues they see and for us to be able to fully investigate it.”
Gates has also come under fire in recent weeks for his apparently close relationship with serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Their friendship reportedly angered his wife Melinda Gates and contributed to their decision to divorce, which the couple announced earlier in May.
Gates served as Microsoft O until 2000 and remained on the board until last year.
In Friday’s television appearance, Nadella insisted that Microsoft’s current culture is no longer the same as during the Gates era.
“We have no forced arbitrations, so I feel that we have created an environment that allows us to really drive that everyday improvement in our diversity and inclusion culture,” he said.
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