Microsoft President Brad Smith reportedly once told Bill Gates to stop emailing a female employee.
Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Smith confronted Gates more than a decade ago.
A spokesperson for Gates called the report "false, recycled rumors."
Two top executives at Microsoft told the company's billionaire founder Bill Gates more than a decade ago to stop emailing a female employee, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources.
In 2008, the company became aware that Gates had sent "inappropriate" messages to the employee a year earlier, a Microsoft spokesman, Frank Shaw, told The Journal.
Sources told The Journal that two top Microsoft executives - Brad Smith, the current president, and Lisa Brummel, then the human-resources chief - met with Gates and asked him to stop. Gates reportedly acknowledged that the emails were not a good idea and said he would stop.
"These claims are false, recycled rumors from sources who have no direct knowledge, and in some cases have significant conflicts of interest," a spokesperson for Gates told Insider.
After Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates announced their divorce this summer, publications including The New York Times and The Journal described allegations that the Microsoft founder had behaved inappropriately with women at the company.
Microsoft told The Journal in May that its board hired a law firm in 2019 to investigate accusations that Gates had an affair with an engineer in 2000. Six former and current Microsoft employees told The Times that Gates created an uncomfortable workplace by making suggestive comments toward women.
Gates met with the financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein multiple times starting in 2011, various news reports have said.
Gates stepped down as the CEO of Microsoft in 2000 and left the boards of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway in 2020.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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