Mr Gates dated Ann Winblad, an American businesswoman, in the 1980s and made a deal with his wife, Melinda, which allowed him to spend a long weekend with her.
A 1997 Time Walter Isaacson’s profile discusses his relationship with Ms. Winblad and the extent of his involvement with her after his marriage to Melinda in 1994. The interview resurfaced after the multi-millionaire philanthropist couple announced their decision to dissolve 27-year-old wedding.
“Another Gates vacation buddy is Ann Winblad, the software entrepreneur and venture capitalist he dated in the 1980s,” Mr. Isaacson wrote.
“They met in 1984 at a Ben Rosen-Esther Dyson computer conference and started having ‘virtual dates’ by going to the same movie at the same time in different cities and chatting about it on their cell phones. . For a few years, she even persuaded him to stop eating meat, an experiment he has since decidedly abandoned.
Mr Gates and Ms Winbald broke up in 1987, “in part because Winblad, five years older, was more ready for marriage,” says the profile, which adds that they have remained close friends.
“Even now, Gates has a deal with his wife so that he and Winblad can keep a holiday tradition alive,” the article said. “Every spring, as they’ve done for over a decade, Gates spends a long weekend with Winblad at his beach cabin on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where they buggy, hang-glide and ride on the beach.”
Mr. Gates told Mr. Isaacson that they would play “putt-putt while discussing biotechnology”.
Elaborating on their link, Ms Winblad added that they would share their thoughts on the world and themselves and “marvel at how, as young outperformers, we started a great adventure on the fringes of an industry. little known and this brought us to the center of an amazing universe.
“When I was thinking about marrying Melinda, I called Ann and asked for her approval,” Mr. Gates said, adding that he had Ms. Winblad’s support in the decision.