In a major trouble for billionaire business tycoon Bill Gates, Microsoft Corporation shareholder and activist Arjuna Capital said it has introduced a resolution seeking a report on the “effectiveness of the company’s workplace sexual harassment policies” amid allegations that Microsoft co-founder Gates tried to develop inappropriate relationships with female employees and incidences of sexual harassment of Microsoft‘s employees.
“We urge Microsoft to independently investigate and confront these issues transparently, as sexual harassment and gender discrimination can harm shareholder value — resulting in higher turnover, lower productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher sick leave costs,” the group wrote in the resolution, according to an emailed copy of the text.
Microsoft is yet to make any official comment on the shareholder proposal.
Earlier this week, Microsoft President Brad Smith told Bloomberg Television that Gates is still an adviser to the company and he often holds meeting with some employees in that capacity and the former Microsoft chairman would continue to play a role if that contact can be handled appropriately.
“You’ll see us continue to talk to Bill in an appropriate way on issues that matter,” Smith said.
After Bill Gates’s announcement that he and his wife for 27 years, Melinda French Gates, have decided to part ways, several reports surfaced about Gates’s inappropriate conduct . Microsoft admitted that it received a complaint in 2019 when Gates was one of the members of Microsoft’s board. It is learnt that Gates tried to have an affair with an employee in 2000.
Gates and Melinda are currently busy in their divorce proceedings and it is still unclear how the couple are planning to divide their USD 146 billion assets, which included several companies, mansions, hotels and other properties.