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HoloLens co-creator Alex Kipman leaves Microsoft over misconduct: Report

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Published on Jun 8, 2022
HoloLens co-creator Alex Kipman leaves Microsoft over misconduct: Report

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By: Tech Desk Thalassery June 8, 2022 2:01:03 pm Alex Kipman is pictured here, on the Ignite virtual stage as a fully realised holoportation of himself. (Image credit: Microsoft) Alex Kipman, co-creator of HoloLens, is leaving Microsoft, according to Insider. The publication had earlier published a report accusing Kipman and others of being part of “a widespread pattern of executive misconduct, including verbal abuse and sexual harassment, that continues to persist at Microsoft.” The report about Kipman’s departure was corroborated by Geekwire, which reported that the departure was announced in an internal email on Tuesday (June 7). The same email also announced a restructuring of the HoloLens mixed reality team. The Mixed Reality Hardware group is being folded into the Windows Devices Team, while the Mixed Reality Presence and Collaboration group will be part of the Microsoft Teams organisation in the company’s Experiences Devices division.
The Insider report about Kipman’s misconduct quoted three sources who reportedly warned about not leaving women alone around Kipman. According to the publication, Kipman had two employees from human resources as “chaperones” present with him during meetings in recent months. Over 25 Microsoft employees reportedly contributed to an internal report about alleged misconduct by Kipman, including instances of unwanted touching, as well as an instance where he played an explicit VR video in front of employees.
One former executive was so upset about Kipman’s behaviour that they thanked the pandemic, “The best thing that happened, sadly was the pandemic. So we never had to interact with him in person,” said the executive to Insider.
In 2019, top Microsoft executives had pledged to discuss diversity and harassment issues at monthly employee meetings, responding to complaints about sexual misconduct and discrimination against women in a 90-page email thread at the software maker. In a monthly meeting that followed, CEO Satya Nadella, human resources chief Kathleen Hogan and senior engineering leader Rajesh Jha answered questions about the issues raised in the emails. At the meeting, officials committed to focusing on these issues, according to a source who spoke to Bloomberg at the time. IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd

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