updated 02:05 pm EDT, Wed March 30, 2011
Paul Allen Memoir talks ill of co-founder Gates
Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft alongside Bill Gates, has publicly alleged that Gates had a plan to take shares of the company early on while Allen was undergoing cancer treatment. The allegations come from Allen's upcoming book, Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft, that's due to go on sale on April 17, the Wall Street Journal reported. The two have been seen as close friends, but the book has changed this relationship, say sources close to them.
But David Postman, a spokesman for Allen, maintains the book offers "a very balanced portrayal of their relationship."
"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," Gates responded in a written statement.
Those involved in Microsoft from the early days are weighing in on the matter. They are confused as to the motivations behind Allen's statements and question the accuracy of some of the events he wrote about. This includes meetings Allen said he attended but those who were there said they missed.
The book is also said to contain a bitterness in Allen stemming from not receiving more credit for his work along with shares in the company. He also downplayed Gates' involvement in some important ideas that came from Microsoft.
"I had helped start the company and was still an active member of management, though limited by my illness, and now my partner and my colleague were scheming to rip me off," Allen writes in the book. "It was mercenary opportunism, plain and simple."
This was in response to an incident where Allen says he eavesdropped on a discussion in the Microsoft offices between Mr. Gates and Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's current CEO. They were allegedly discussing Allen's lack of productivity and a plan to issue new shares for themselves and other shareholders in order to dilute Allen's.