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Bill Gates memorised employees’ licence plates to keep tabs on them

In a recent interview, Microsoft founder said that as a demanding boss in his early years, he memorised the licence plates of employees to keep tabs on their working hours.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
February 1, 2016 2:42:40 pm
Philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates attends a panel "Preparing for the Next Pandemic" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) Philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, said he didn’t really believe in vacations during the beginning years of Micorosft. (Source: AP)

Every genius has his quirks and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is no different. During an insightful interview with BBC’s Desert Island Discs broadcast, the billionaire admitted to memorising the licence plates of his employees so that he could keep tabs on them.

“I worked weekends, I didn’t really believe in vacations… I had to be a little careful not to try and apply my standards to how hard [others at the company] worked. I knew everybody’s licence plate so I could look out the parking lot and see, you know, when people come in,” said Gates in the interview. Thankfully, he later eased up, saying, “Eventually I had to loosen up as the company got to a reasonable size.”

Imagine Gates trying to remember the thousands of car plates parked at Redmond, Washington, now. Reacting to this bit of information — that has subsequently gone viral — Twitteratis didn’t quite approve the habit.


In the interview, Gates spoke at length about his relationship with Apple founder Steve Jobs as well, saying that there was a time when the two were allies. “Steve really is a singular person in the history of personal computing in terms of what he built at Apple. For some periods, we were completely allies working together – I wrote software for the original Apple II,” he says.

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