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Bill Gates’ money manager has been accused of making racist, sexist comments

The man responsible for the Gates’ fortune has come under scrutiny for his workplace behavior

Bill Gates speaks at an event in France.
In this Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, file photo, philanthropist and co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates gestures as he speaks to the audience during the Global Fund to Fight AIDS event at the Lyon’s congress hall, central France.
Ludovic Marin, Associated Press

Bill Gates’ money manager, Michael Larson, has come under scrutiny as recent details have surfaced alleging inappropriate workplace behavior. The claims that Larson made racist and sexist comments have come from former employees of his, reported The New York Times and Business Insider.

Bill and Melinda Gates, who run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, announced May 7 that they would be ending their 27-year marriage. Following the announcement, previously unknown details of Bill Gates' workplace behavior and personal life — as well as his money manager’s — have come out, causing his “carefully crafted public image” to “unravel,” according to the New York Post.

Who is Michael Larson?

Larson has been managing the Gates’ fortune for 27 years. He heads Cascade Investment, the company created to manage and grow the couple’s fortune, reports Business Insider. Cascade, also called Bill and Melinda Gates Investments (BMGI), is solely responsible for the Gates’ fortune.

The investment strategy focused on undervalued or old-fashioned stocks, not new tech companies, allowing the Gates to avoid the worst of the 2000 dot-com bubble bursting as well as the 2008 and 2009 recessions, said The New York Times.

Larson’s workplace behavior

According to former employees in interviews with The New York Times, Larson displayed a pattern of workplace misconduct.

Larson denied making these comments. However, he also responded that “years ago, earlier in my career, I used harsh language that I would not use today. I regret this greatly but have done a lot of work to change,” per Business Insider.

Bill and Melinda Gates respond

According to Bill Gates’ spokesperson via The New York Times, “BMGI (Gates Investments) takes all complaints seriously and seeks to address them effectively to guarantee a safe and respectful workplace.”

According to Melinda Gates’ spokesperson via The New York Times, “Melinda unequivocally condemns disrespectful and inappropriate conduct in the workplace. She was unaware of most of these allegations given her lack of ownership of and control over BMGI.”