- Bill Gates’ money manager Michael Larson was accused of making racist, sexist remarks to employees, The New York Times reported.
- Cascade Investment paid settlements to at least seven people who witnessed Larson’s behavior, The Times reported.
- Larson denied “some but not all” of the allegations of misconduct detailed in The Times report.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
An investment firm paid at least seven settlements to people who are alleged to have witnessed workplace misconduct by Bill Gates’ money manager Michael Larson, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The Times published a bombshell report Wednesday detailing Larson’s alleged inappropriate workplace behavior at Cascade Investment, which manages Bill Gates’ and Melinda French Gates’ fortune. Bill and Melinda Gates announced on May 3 that they are splitting after 27 years of marriage.
Larson, who has worked as Gates’ money manager for nearly three decades through Cascade, made sexual and racist comments, 10 former employees and others familiar with the firm told The Times.
Cascade paid settlements to at least seven people who witnessed or were familiar with Larson’s behavior to keep quiet about their time at the firm, The Times reported.
At least six employees had told Gates – several of whom also approached his wife, Melinda French Gates – to complain about Larson’s misconduct, according to The Times report.
According to the report, Larson would judge female coworkers based on their attractiveness to other male employees and showed pictures of nude women to coworkers and compare the photos to a female human resources executive. He also called employees “stupid” and would call their work “garbage,” sources told The Times.
In one instance, sources told The Times that Larson made a racist comment to former employee Stacy Ybarra, who is Black. When she informed Larson that she had voted, Larson said in response: “But you live in the ghetto, and everybody knows that Black people don’t vote,” three sources described to The Times.
Larson denied making the remark in a statement to The Times, as well as “some but not all” of the other allegations of misconduct.
“Years ago, earlier in my career, I used harsh language that I would not use today,” Larson said in a statement to The Times. “I regret this greatly but have done a lot of work to change.”
Representatives for Larson and Cascade Investments did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
A spokesperson for the Gates Foundation told Insider in a statement: “BMGI is a professionally run organization with oversight and governance, including regularly occurring HR reviews that have taken place for over 20 years. BMGI does not tolerate inappropriate behavior.”
“There’s a clear process for employees, contractors and partners to share concerns – either anonymously or by name, and any issue raised over the company’s history has been taken seriously and resolved appropriately,” the spokesperson continued.