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Culture of lewd behaviour and "excessive drunkenness" at Microsoft UK, former exec claims

A 2009 Microsoft sales conference was ''rife'' with ''drunkenness and outrageous misbehaviour'', a former executive has claimed.

Simon Negus was hired as general manager of Microsoft in the UK in 2008, but was sacked in September 2010 for allegedly kissing a colleague at the Microsoft Global Exchange in Atlanta conference then lying about the incident. His surprising claims about the conference, reported by The Telegraph, emerged after Mr Negus filed a counterclaim against the company, claiming 15 years of lost earnings, harassment and wrongful dismissal.

In papers lodged with the court, Mr Negus alleges wild partying at the conference was driven by “unlimited quantities” of vodka and Jagermeister. One Microsoft director was so drunk he allegedly followed a female manager into the ladies restroom, while another was “so p***** he could not remember a thing”.

''The alcohol made freely available in unlimited quantities included neat vodka which could be drunk from an ice fountain, and a very strong German liquor called Jagermeister,'' the papers read.

Mr Negus, who is now COO at mobile marketing solutions firm Upstream, further claims that Microsoft International VP Gordon Frazer deliberately set out to block his rise through the company, even disclosing a plan to replace Mr Negus to a colleague via email before a formal investigation into the kissing incident had been finalised.

That investigation found that while no action was to be taken over the alleged kiss itself, Mr Negus had lied to the inquiry and should therefore be sacked.

A Microsoft spokesman told The Telegraph it would be “inappropriate to comment” on an ongoing court case”.

The case, while unproven, would certainly paint a different picture of a company not exactly known for its party culture - Windows 7 launch party anyone?

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