In a new book published by Paul Allen, he accuses Bill Gates of trying to con him out of shares in the company. The allegations are made in a book of memoirs by Allen called ‘Idea Man’ which is due to be published in April by Portfolio.
Allen has said that he overheard a conversation between Gates and Ballmer (current CEO) in December 1982, not long after Allen revealed that he was planning to leave the company. He said they were complaining about his work and working out ways to dilute his equity.
The original shares for Microsoft were 36 percent for Allen and 64 percent for Gates. Gates got the bigger percentage because of his coding contribution for the Altair computer. The share percentage changed later however. Allen reveals in the book that he did not want Ballmer to join Microsoft, but later agreed that he could have a 5 percent share, only to find that Gates increased his share to 8.75 percent.
Steve Ballmer (video above): Allen never wanted him to join Microsoft. We wonder if Gates changed his mind after seeing this.
Before he left the company Allen said that Gates in 1983 tried to buy him out for $5 per share, but Allen wanted twice that amount. Gates apparently said that he shouldnt get to keep his shares if he was leaving the company.
Allen also indicated that Gates and Ballmer both apologised for the dilution of shares later, but we would assume there are still some ill feelings between the guys. Gates has already said that his recollection of the whole thing is different, but he still values his friendship. Maybe he should wait until he reads all the book?
KitGuru says: We probably will never hear the whole story.