Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is about to release a memoir titled Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft. An excerpt of it can be read here.
His account of Bill Gates in the book can only be described as scathing and bitter.
While Allen acknowledged Gates' business competency and extraordinary ability to focus, his memoir's excerpt's focus was on the latter's belligerent personality and schemes to take away company equity from him.
Below are some of Allen's accounts about his tenure at Microsoft:
- Some Microsoft staff, Allen included, cringed at the way [Gates would] demean people and force them to defend their positions.
- When someone was late with a programming job, Gates would say: I could code that in a weekend.
- Gates' classic put-down was: That's the stupidest f_cking thing I've ever heard.
- Gates and Allen had exhausting arguments that lasted hours. Sometimes, Allen simply leaves out of sheer fatigue.
- Gates tried to hire Steve Ballmer under different terms than the one initially agreed upon by Gates and Allen, behind Allen's back.
- Gates and Ballmer, behind Allen's back, schemed to dilute Allen's equity in the company after they felt that Allen wasn't contributing enough to the company. Allen was battling lymphoma at the time.
- As Allen recovered from lymphoma, he realized that life was too short to spend it unhappily.
-When Gates realized that Allen was going to resign, he made a lowball offer for Allen's equity in the company. Allen rejected Gates' offer.
Gates issued the following written statement about Allen's book:
While my recollection of many of these events may differ from Paul's, I value his friendship and the important contributions he made to the world of technology and at Microsoft.