The Microsoft co-founder has given an insight intohis early years as a boss back when the technologycompany was in its infancy during the late 70s,employing only handful of people compared tothousands today.
The billionaire, known today for his mild manner and philanthropy, was a much harder figurein the early years of his career, where he was regarded as a hard negotiator and demandingboss.
In an interview for the BBC's Desert Island Discs broadcast on the other day, Gates admittedbeing 'fanatical about work' in Microsoft's early days, sometimes to the misfortune of co-workers.
'I had to be a little careful not to try and apply my standards to how hard they worked,' he said.
'You know, I knew everyone's licence plates so I could look out in the parking lot and see whenpeople coming in, when people were leaving.
'Eventually I had to loosen up as the company got to a reasonable size.'
Gates also spoke of his relationship with Apple founder Steve Jobs.
He said: 'For some periods we were complete allies working together - I wrote the originalsoftware on Apple 2.
'Sometimes he would be tough on you, sometimes he would be very encouraging. And he gotreally great work out of people.'
Talking about when he saw Jobs a few months before he died in 2011, Gates said: 'In the earlyyears the intensity had always been about the project, and so when Steve got sick it was farmore mellow in terms of talking about our lives and our kids.
'He and I gave a joint interview together and I talked about how I envied his incredibledesign skills. Steve was an incredible genius and I was more of an engineer than he was.
'It was fun that it was more of a friendship that reflective, although tragically then he couldn'tovercome the cancer and died.'
The 60-year-old also revealed how he was 'disruptive' as a teenager, forcing his parents to sendhim to a psychologist.
Gates said his parents taught him the value of 'giving back' to society, a lesson developed into aphilanthropic philosophy culminating in he and his wife Melinda setting aside much of their vastfortune to help the world's poor.
Talking about his relationship with his parents - his father was a successful lawyer, his mother ateacher who sat on a number of corporate boards - he said: 'They set a very good example ofbeing engaged in giving back.'
As a child he devoured books, especially biographies, and considered a future as a lawyer orscientist so he could 'work on hard problems'.
Computing became an obsession and he would spend five hours a day learning programming,skipping gym classes to further his knowledge.
Gates met Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen at school—the pair managed to rig the school'sschedule so Gates could sit near the 'nice girls' in class - and he eventually dropped out ofHarvard to set up the company when he was just 19.
By 1979, at 23, Microsoft was grossing 2.5 million dollars a year.
For his Desert Island Discs, Gates picked Under Pressure, by Queen and David Bowie, WillieNelson's Blue Skies, and The Two Of Us by The Beatles, among others.
He also selected copies of the world's great lectures on DVD as his luxury item, and chose totake Steven Pinker's The Better Angels Of Our Nature as his book.