The Chronicle

Pull your head in, Gates told


SAN FRANCISCO: Bill Gates was asked by executives to stop sending “flirtatiou­s” and “inappropri­ate” emails to a female employee before he left Microsoft a decade ago, it is claimed.

Microsoft was aware that Gates (pictured), the company founder, had sent messages to the mid-level staff member in 2007, the Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw told The Wall Street Journal. In the “flirtatiou­s” emails, which Shaw said were “not overtly sexual, but were deemed to be inappropri­ate”, Gates proposed meeting the

woman outside work and away from the Microsoft campus. She did not file a complaint.

Unnamed sources told the newspaper that two executives, the current president Brad Smith and former head of human resources Lisa Brummel, met Gates and asked him to control his behaviour.

He is said to have admitted that the emails were a bad idea in hindsight and said he would stop. Gates retired from Microsoft shortly afterwards.

Bridgitt Arnold, the chief communicat­ions officer at Gates Ventures, called the claims “false, recycled rumours from sources who have no direct knowledge, and in some cases have significan­t conflicts of interest”.

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