Bill Gates
Bill Gates

Rubenstein is providing crisis support for Cascade Investment, which manages the fortune of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and its embattled leader Michael Larson after the New York Times ran a May 26 article about a "culture of fear" that exists at the company.

Gates hired Larson 27 years ago to oversee Cascade, and he grew its assets from $10B to $130B over that period.

The Times says Larson "engaged in a pattern of workplace misconduct," including judging women on their attractiveness, showing colleagues nude photos of women, making sexually inappropriate remarks and bullying.

It reported that Cascade made payments to at least seven people who witnessed or knew about Larson's behavior in exchange for agreeing not to speak about their time at the firm.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is closely tied to Cascade, is a long-time Rubenstein client.

"Rubenstein has worked with the firm for years, and we are supporting them on this as well," a spokesperson at the firm told O'Dwyer's.

The Times quoted Chris Giglio, head of Rubenstein's crisis group, numerous times in the article.

He denied some but not all the instances of Larson's alleged misconduct.

"BMGI takes all complaints seriously and seeks to address them effectively to guarantee a safe and a respectful workplace," said Giglio.

He was a Kekst CNC partner, HL Strategic Solutions president, Estēe Lauder executive VP-global communications and Freud Communications COO prior to joining Rubenstein in December 2020.

Larson told the Times, "Calling BMGI a toxic work environment is unfair to the 160 professionals who make up our team and our culture."