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Microsoft shareholders want an investigation

Into Bill Gates’ alleged misconduct.  The company’s policies on sexual harassment. Investors want more information on policies that, they say, allowed Bill Gates’ alleged misconduct.

 The proxy company Glass Lewis was calling for the dismissal of John Thompson, one of Glass Lewis’s directors, The Times of London reported on Saturday. Thompson was responsible for an inquiry into Gates’s behaviour, according to the report.

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 Arjuna Capital, an investment company it announced in June it would add an shareholder resolution to this year’s proxy. This resolution demands an independent and transparent investigation into allegations of gender-based discrimination in the company and sexual harassment.

 The language of the proposed resolution reads: “Reports of Bill Gates sexually inappropriate relationships and advances on Microsoft employees have only added to concerns, calling into question the corporate culture established by the top management, and the role of the board to hold accountable those who are responsible.”

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 It added: “Investors are concerned Microsoft could be facing an environment of systematic sexual harassment that could put at risk Microsoft’s capacity to attract and retain the best talent.”

 Arjuna was also adamant about the release of “any independent inquiry into allegations of executive-level, including the recent Gates claims.”

 Microsoft advised shareholders to not vote on the resolution included in proxy materials. The company stated that it would duplicate existing policies.

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 Microsoft will release an annual report outlining its policies on sexual harassment and gender discrimination the company said.

 “This reporting will substantially address the main issues identified in the shareholder proposal,” the company said. “Microsoft does not condone harassment or discrimination.”

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 Investors will get their say at the company’s annual meeting on the 30th of November.

 These actions of investors were prompted by a variety of stories about Gates’ allegations of misconduct in the decades preceding his divorce from Melinda French Gates.


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