On Friday, Satya Nadella answered the recent news queries about Bill Gates, the company’s founder’s conduct, which raised questions about the company’s workplace culture.
Satya Nadella referred to the investigation that took place in 2000 when Microsoft looked into the affair between Bill Gates and an employee. This situation got covered after the news coverage of the divorce of Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, his wife.
Reportedly, according to the representatives of Bill Gates, the relationship with the employee happened when he was Microsoft’s chairman of the board and chief software designer.
On Friday, in an interview with CBNC, Nadella said:
“The Microsoft of 2021 is very different from the Microsoft of 2000…To me and everyone at Microsoft, our focus on our culture, our diversity, our inclusion, in particular, the everyday experience of our people is super important, it’s a huge priority.”
The interview took place after many accusations and reports took place regarding the workplace behavior of Bill Gates at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Furthermore, on Sunday, it got confirmed by a Microsoft spokesperson that the company in the latter half of 2019 had concerns over the intimate relationship Bill Gates initiated with an employee of the company in 2000.
The spokesperson said:
“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.”
In early 2020, Bill Gates left the board of Microsoft. However, a spokesperson of Bill Gates said that his decision was not related to the investigation. When he left the board, the company said that he will still continue to work as the technical advisors. It has not gotten known yet, whether Bill Gates still holds this position or not.
Earlier this week, a spokesperson for Bill Gates in a Wall Street Journal statement, said:
“There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably…Bill’s decision to transition off the board 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.”
Moreover, on Friday, Nadella said that the review of concern that the company had nearly after 20 years speaks about the culture of the company.
“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 raised it; we have no forced arbitrations…I feel that we have created an environment that allows us to really drive that everyday improvement in our diversity and inclusion culture, which I think is a super important thing.”
Furthermore, he added that the company put in a policy in 2006 regarding the employees and workplace relationships.
“Overall, the power dynamic in the workplace is not something that can be abused in any form…The most important thing is for us to make sure that everybody is comfortable in being able to raise any issues they see and for us to be able to fully investigate it.”