Microsoft HoloLens boss Alex Kipman is out after allegations of misconduct

Insider reports that Microsoft’s Alex Kipman, who led the teams that developed the company’s HoloLens augmented reality headset and Kinect motion controller for Xbox and serves as one of Microsoft’s top technicians, has resigned following allegations of verbal abuse. and sexual harassment. Microsoft did not immediately confirm or deny the report, but GeekWire already corroborated it by obtaining an internal email from Microsoft’s cloud chief Scott Guthrie: “We have mutually decided that this is the right time for him to leave the company and seek other opportunities. ,” he writes. The memo, which you can read on GeekWire, is silent on the allegations and says Kipman will stay on for two more months to help with the transition. It also details a reorganization for Kipman’s entire mixed reality division, with the hardware teams joining Panos Panay’s Windows + Devices organization. According to Insider sources, more than 25 Microsoft employees contributed to an internal report about Kipman’s alleged misconduct, including instances of unwanted contact, as well as a time he allegedly watched a lewd VR video in front of employees at the office. Employees Claim They Were Told Not to Leave Women Alone at Kipman Today’s report follows a previous Insider report on May 25, where dozens of employees told the publication about Kipman’s alleged behavior. Three employees told Insider they had been warned not to leave women alone near Kipman. When approached by Insider at the time, Microsoft neither confirmed nor denied the specific allegations of misconduct against the women, but denied that Kipman had started being accompanied by human resources staff in meetings. One former Microsoft executive was so distraught over Kipman’s behavior that he suggested the COVID-19 outbreak actually made things better: “The best thing that happened, sadly, was the pandemic,” they told Insider. “So we never had to interact with him in person.” Kipman has not responded to repeated Insider requests for comment, and has not tweeted since May 23. In February, Kipman responded to an earlier Insider report suggesting the HoloLens split was a disaster and HoloLens 3 may have been cancelled, saying “Don’t believe what you read on the internet.” However, Insider wasn’t the only post to suggest some problems at the split: The Wall Street Journal reported in January that more than 70 Microsoft employees on the HoloLens team had left the company in 2021, with more than 40 joining Microsoft. Goal. Microsoft was counting on a big win for HoloLens with the US Army ordering up to 120,000 IVAS headsets for soldiers. That order would be worth $21.88 billion to the company over 10 years, but the Army delayed the deal and a Pentagon audit was not too optimistic about the idea. “Acquiring IVAS without achieving user acceptance could result in wasting up to $21.88 billion in taxpayer funds to implement a system soldiers may not want to use or use as intended,” reads part of a report. April 2022 Department of Defense Inspector General (pdf). However, Guthrie states in his memo that the Army approved an operational test last month. Regardless of the status of the Hololens program, Kipman is out. Microsoft did not comment on the Insider report.

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