A new book, set to go on sale in the USA next month has revealed a bitter split between the two founders of Microsoft, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who in his new book ‘Idea Man’ Allen, accuses Gates of hatching a plan to dilute his stake in the software company. Allen also reveals how he caught current CEO Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates in a compromising position in Bill Gates’ Office.The book goes into details about the bitter disputes between the two men. Allen, a frequent visitor to Australia, describes Gates as driven, and Allen is not shy about expressing his bitterness about not getting more credit for building Microsoft into the global giant it is today.
Allen claims that when Gates discovered that he had cancer that he moved in with what has been described as a “low ball” plan to dilute Allen’s shareholding in Microsoft.
Allen describes in the book, which goes on sale in Australia shortly, how he met Bill Gates as an eighth-grader and how the two grew up to launch Microsoft.
The book is already a sensation on Twitter, with a steady stream of tweets quoting portions from the new memoir.
In one part of the book, under the heading “Logging Off,” Allen writes about overhearing a meeting between Gates and Steve Ballmer after Allen had been diagnosed with cancer:
‘One evening in late December 1982, I heard Bill and Steve speaking heatedly in Bill’s office and paused outside to listen in. It was easy to get the gist of the conversation. They were bemoaning my recent lack of production and discussing how they might dilute my Microsoft equity by issuing options to themselves and other shareholders. It was clear that they’d been thinking about this for some time.
Unable to stand it any longer, I burst in on them and shouted, “This is unbelievable! It shows your true character, once and for all.” I was speaking to both of them, but staring straight at Bill. Caught red-handed, they were struck dumb. Before they could respond, I turned on my heel and left.’
In another part of the book Allen writes:
‘In January, I met with Bill one final time as a Microsoft executive. As he sat down with me on the couch in his office, I knew that he’d try to make me feel guilty and obliged to stay. But once he saw he couldn’t change my mind, Bill tried to cut his losses. When Microsoft incorporated, in 1981, our old partnership agreement was nullified, and with it his power to force me to accept a buyout based on “irreconcilable differences.” Now he tried a different tack, one he’d hinted at in his letter. “It’s not fair that you keep your stake in the company,” he said. He made a low ball offer for my stock: five dollars a share.’