Bill Gates’ money manager reportedly told a Black employee she lived ‘in the ghetto,’ made sexual comments about female colleagues, and was accused of exposing himself to a bike-shop manager

bill and melinda gates
A source told The New York Times that Melinda Gates’ body language during events hinted that she was unhappy. The soon-to-be-ex couple are seen during a TED conference in 2014.

  • Michael Larson, the Gates’ money manager, made racist and sexual comments, according to a NYT report.
  • The report reveals new details about a previous sexual harassment allegation against Larson in 2017.
  • The new report follows other emerging details regarding Gates’ personal life following news of his divorce.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates’ money manager made racist and sexual comments about employees, according to a new report from The New York Times’ Anupreeta Das, Emily Flitter, and Nicholas Kulish.

Ten former employees of Cascade Investment told the outlet that money manager Michael Larson showed coworkers photos of naked women, publicly judged female colleagues based on their attractiveness in front of male employees, and fostered a “culture of fear” at the firm tasked with growing the Gates’ wealth.

The report comes as Gates’ carefully curated public image continues to unravel in the wake of his divorce from French Gates.

When a former employee, Stacy Ybarra, told Larson she planned to leave Cascade for another company, Larson shorted that company’s stock and told her he had done so to spite her, three people told The Times.

Sources told the outlet that Larson would also call employees “stupid” and dub their work to be “garbage.”

In a statement to the NYT, Larson said, “Years ago, earlier in my career, I used harsh language that I would not use today. I regret this greatly but have done a lot of work to change.”

Two sources told the Times that Larson also made a racist comment to Ybarra, who is Black. After she told him she had voted before coming to work on Election Day one November, Larson said “but you live in the ghetto, and everybody knows that Black people don’t vote,” according to the report.

Larson, who could not be reached by Insider, denied making the remark and “some but not all” of the allegations of misconduct, according to The Times. Insider also reached out to a spokesperson for Larson, Chris Giglio, for additional comment on the report.

“During his tenure, Mr. Larson has managed over 380 people, and there have been fewer than five complaints related to him in total,” a spokesperson for Larson told the Times.

“Any complaint was investigated and treated seriously and fully examined, and none merited Mr. Larson’s dismissal,” the spokesperson added, per the Times.

Cascade opened an internal investigation into the incident, and Gates and French Gates spoke to Ybarra as part of it, sources told The Times.

Larson also showed male colleagues pictures of naked women and compared them to the company’s HR executive, according to the report, and in another incident asked a female employee if she would strip if paid a certain amount. Larson denied the events took place to The Times.

The Times also reported Larson was accused of exposing himself to a woman who managed a bike shop that was majority-owned by a Cascade-backed company. The woman hired a lawyer in 2017 and wrote a letter to Gates and French Gates threatening to sue the couple if Larson’s alleged advances didn’t stop. He told her he wanted to have sex with her as well as another woman, according to a source who read the letter and spoke to the NYT.

Michael Larson wearing a hot pink polo and a jacket
Michael Larson, business manager for Cascade Investment LLC, attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 10, 2014 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

The NYT reported the sexual harassment allegation last week, but the Wednesday report sheds more light on the alleged incident.

Gates’ solution was to pay the manager in a settlement, while French Gates suggested conducting an external review of the matter and of the work culture at Cascade, sources told The Times in a previous report.

An investigation by a law firm concluded the accusation couldn’t be substantiated, and Larson returned to work at Cascade after a leave of absence. A spokesperson for Larson told the Times that Larson had “wanted to contest the allegations throughout the investigation.”

A Gates spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Cascade Investment was created to manage the Gates’ fortune as well as the Gates Foundation endowment. The Wall Street Journal published a profile on Larson in 2014, detailing how his job was to “make Bill Gates richer.”

Gates and French Gates announced they were ending their 27-year marriage on May 7.

In the weeks since the divorce announcement, questions have swirled regarding the couple’s massive $130 billion fortune, their continued efforts at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, their children’s inheritance, and other factors regarding Gates’ personal conduct, such as an affair he had with a Microsoft staffer in 2000. A Gates spokesperson confirmed the affair and said it “ended amicably.”

Gates’ reported connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein have also resurfaced since news of the divorce broke. Gates told The Journal in 2019 that he had indeed met the financier but did not have “any business relationship or friendship with him.”

Read the full report on The New York Times here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

All the times Bill Gates reportedly engaged in questionable conduct before he and Melinda Gates announced their divorce

bill gates
Bill Gates on November 6, 2019, in New York City.

  • Bill Gates has engaged in inappropriate conduct at work on multiple occasions, according to news reports from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
  • Several accusations have surfaced since Gates and Melinda French Gates announced their divorce on May 3.
  • Gates’ also had a deeper relationship with Jeffrey Epstein than previously known which, according to the news reports, was a point of contention between him and French Gates.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Bill Gates’ public image as a nerdy do-gooder has crumbled amid recent allegations of misconduct

Bill Gates testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on market power in the software industry on March 3, 1998.
Bill Gates.

In 1998, Bill Gates, then the wealthiest person in America, appeared before Congress to testify about whether Microsoft, then the wealthiest company in America, about accusations it was abusing its market power. Industry observers believed Gates was overly arrogant during his testimony, and the government eventually reined in Microsoft’s power in a landmark antitrust lawsuit.

Since then, Gates has tried to shed his reputation as a cocky tech mogul, instead crafting a public image of a nerdy do-gooder, largely through his philanthropy.

But since Gates and his wife, Melinda French Gates, announced their plans to divorce, reports about his conduct toward female coworkers and his relationship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein have chipped away at that image.

These allegations have come from a variety of sources and mention incidents dating back years before the divorce announcement, suggesting Gates’ private reputation has long diverged from the image he’s portrayed publicly.

Here are all the times Gates has been accused of questionable behavior.

1987: Bill Gates started dating Melinda French Gates while he was her boss at Microsoft.

bill and melinda gates
The soon-to-be ex-couple during a TED conference in 2014.

While he wasn’t her direct boss, Gates ran Microsoft when French Gates joined as a product manager in 1987 straight out of college, and he asked her out in a company parking lot, she said at a 2016 conference.

2000: Gates had an intimate relationship with a Microsoft employee while married to French Gates.

Bill Gates in 2000.
Gates in 2000.

In 2019, a female Microsoft employee told the company Gates initiated a sexual relationship with her in 2000 that lasted for years, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Microsoft’s board investigated the incident and wanted Gates to resign from the board, according to The Journal. Gates stepped down in March 2020 before the board completed its investigation.

A spokeswoman for Gates told The Journal his decision to step down “was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”

2006: Gates asked a female Microsoft employee out to dinner.

Bill Gates speaks at Microsoft's E3 Press Conference in Hollywood, California, in 2006.
Gates at Microsoft’s E3 press conference in Hollywood, California, in 2006.

The New York Times reported Gates asked a female Microsoft employee to dinner after attending a presentation she gave.

“If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,” Gates wrote, according to The Times.

2007-08: Gates asked a Gates Foundation employee to dinner.

Gates, as chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,attends a global health conference put on by the United Nations on September 25, 2008 in New York.
Gates on September 25, 2008, in New York.

The New York Times reported that at a cocktail party on a work trip, Gates asked a woman who worked for him to dinner.

“I want to see you. Will you have dinner with me?” Gates said in a hushed voice, according to The Times.

Some employees told The Times they were disappointed in Gates but didn’t believe his behavior was predatory.

2011: Gates continued to spend time with Jeffrey Epstein years after his sex-crime conviction.

bill gates jeffrey epstein

The New York Times reported Gates met with Epstein at least three times beginning in 2011, despite French Gates’ objections. The meetings occurred three years after Epstein was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor.

“Your characterization of his meetings with Epstein and others about philanthropy is inaccurate, including who participated,” Bridgitt Arnold, a spokesperson for Gates, told The Times.

2017: At least two Gates Foundation employees kept in touch with Epstein.

jeffrey epstein
Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on September 8, 2004.

The New York Times reported at least two senior officials with the Gates Foundation remained in contact with Epstein until late 2017, years after accusations against Epstein had piled up.

2018: Gates botched an investigation into a sexual-harassment allegation against his longtime wealth manager.

Michael Larson wearing a hot pink polo and a jacket
Michael Larson attends the Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference on July 10, 2014, in Sun Valley, Idaho.

The New York Times reported French Gates wasn’t happy with how Gates handled a sexual-harassment allegation against his longtime wealth manager, Michael Larson, and pushed for an independent investigation after Gates tried to settle the case confidentially.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bill Gates was wearing his wedding ring at a virtual event nearly 2 weeks after announcing his divorce

bill gates wedding ring
A screenshot of Bill Gates during a virtual conference on Wednesday.

  • Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates announced their divorce on May 3.
  • Gates’s talk at a virtual event Wednesday was his first public appearance since the announcement.
  • He was seen in the virtual conversation with his wedding band on his left ring finger.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bill Gates was seen wearing a wedding band on his left ring finger during a virtual event on Wednesday, just two weeks after he and his wife Melinda French Gates announced their divorce.

As the New York Post first reported, Gates spoke at the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Forum on Economic Recovery on Wednesday, his first public appearance since the couple announced their divorce. In the video, the ring can be spotted on his finger.

A spokesperson for Gates did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

French Gates and Gates announced they were ending their 27-year marriage on May 3, shocking those in the technology and philanthropic worlds.

In the weeks since, questions have swirled regarding the couple’s massive $130 billion fortune, their continued efforts at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, their children’s inheritance, and other factors regarding Gates’s personal conduct, such as an affair he had with a Microsoft staffer in 2000. A Gates spokesperson confirmed the affair and said it “ended amicably.”

Read more: How the ultrarich avoid messy public divorce battles by keeping their disputes out of court

Reports have also surfaced detailing how French Gates began talking with divorce lawyers in 2019 after the news became public of her husband’s connection with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Gates and Epstein met multiple times between 2011 and 2014, as The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times has reported.

Gates told The Journal in 2019 that he had indeed met the financier but did not have “any business relationship or friendship with him.”

A source told Page Six this week that he is currently staying at an exclusive golf club in California. Prior to that, Gates reportedly saw the divorce coming and was lying low at his home in Indian Wells for three months.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Microsoft board members opened investigation into Bill Gates after a staffer said the pair had engaged in a sexual relationship: WSJ report

Bill Gates attends Global Champions Tour of Monaco at Port de Hercule on June 30, 2018 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
Bill Gates attends Global Champions Tour of Monaco at Port de Hercule on June 30, 2018 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

  • In 2019, the Microsoft board opened an investigation into a relationship between Bill Gates and a staffer, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The probe was opened after the employee alleged she had a sexual relationship with Gates.
  • A Gates spokesperson told The Journal “there was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Microsoft board members opened an investigation into Bill Gates in late 2019 after a female employee said she had a sexual relationship with him that spanned years, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The board hired a law firm to conduct the investigation after the staffer came forward with the allegation, and in 2020 decided that Gates should step down from the board of directors. When Gates stepped down in March of 2020, he said it was to focus on “philanthropic priorities.”

In a statement provided to Insider, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “Microsoft 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 committee of the Board reviewed the concern, aided by an outside law firm to conduct a thorough investigation. Throughout the investigation, Microsoft provided extensive support to the employee who raised the concern,” the statement continued.

According to The Journal, a spokesperson for Gates said his decision to step down from the board was unrelated to the investigation into the relationship, but said “there was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.”

The Journal’s report came the same day as a report from The New York Times that alleged Gates had pursued female employees at Microsoft and at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Times report also said Gates had been dismissive towards his wife, Melinda French Gates, during meetings at Microsoft.

The high-profile couple, which met while French Gates was a Microsoft employee, announced earlier this month they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage. They said they would continue to work together at their charitable foundation.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bill Gates was dismissive toward Melinda Gates at work and pursued female employees at Microsoft and the Gates Foundation: NYT report

Bill and Melinda Gates at Robin Hood Gala
Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates.

  • Bill Gates was dismissive toward his wife Melinda French Gates in meetings, The New York Times reported.
  • According to the report, sources said Gates pursued women at Microsoft while married to French Gates.
  • Six former and current employees for Gates said he created an uncomfortable workplace, according to the report.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates was dismissive toward his wife, Melinda French Gates, in work meetings and pursued other women at Microsoft and his other endeavors while the couple was together, according to a Sunday report from The New York Times.

People with knowledge of Gates and his companies and financial dealings told The New York Times that Gates had pursued women who worked for him at Microsoft and at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation while the couple was together, according to the report.

Bridgitt Arnold, a spokesperson for Gates, denied the accusations brought forth in the Times article, telling the outlet, “any claim that Gates spoke of his marriage or Melinda in a disparaging manner is false. The claim of mistreatment of employees is also false. The rumors and speculation surrounding Gates’s divorce are becoming increasingly absurd, and it’s unfortunate that people who have little to no knowledge of the situation are being characterized as ‘sources.'”

On one occasion in 2006, more than a decade he and French Gates wed, he attended a presentation by a female employee of Microsoft and emailed her afterward to ask her to dinner, the Times reported.

“If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,” Gates wrote in the email, a source told The Times.

Another woman, whose identity was not published by the Times, said Gates once asked her to dinner while the two were in New York on a trip for their work at the Gates Foundation, the report said.

Sources familiar with Gates’ endeavors also told the outlet that Gates was at times dismissive of French Gates in workplace meetings at the Gates Foundation.

In total, six current and former employees of Gates said he and his actions created a workplace that made them “uncomfortable,” according to the report.

The couple, which met while French Gates was an employee at Microsoft, announced their split May 3 after 27 years of marriage.

Gates’ relationship with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is said to have played a role in the couple’s split, according to the Times report and previous reporting from The Daily Beast.

Read the full report at The New York Times.

Read the original article on Business Insider