Microsoft HoloLens head Alex Kipman resigns following allegations of misconduct

Alex Kipman on the right of the HoloLens conference stage with a person on the left
Alex Kipman is the person on the right

Alex Kipman is a name we have been hearing for the past decade or so with reference to technological innovations. The Microsoft executive started working at the company in 2001 and eventually went on to lead the teams behind Xbox Kinect and HoloLens. He was also a Technical Fellow at Microsoft.

However, a report emerged recently accusing Kipman of misconduct at the workplace. This contained recounts from 25 employees who talked about the executive watching a pornographic VR video in front of everyone at the office and making employees uncomfortable by touching them. The employees also alleged that they had been instructed not to leave female employees alone around Kipman. There are more ugly details about the personality of Kipman and the toxic culture propagated as a result in the Insider report here.

Following these allegations of misconduct, Alex Kipman has resigned from Microsoft. According to an internal email procured by GeekWire, Microsoft Cloud & AI Group's head Scott Guthrie has informed employees that:

Over the last several months, Alex Kipman and I have been talking about the team’s path going forward. We have mutually decided that this is the right time for him to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. I appreciate the tremendous vision Alex has provided to Microsoft over the years, and all that he has done to advance our Metaverse offerings. Alex is committed to helping the teams with the transition process over the next two months and ensuring success before pursuing what is next for him.

While there is no reference to the misconduct allegations, Kipman's sudden exit somewhat confirms that Microsoft is not comfortable having him around anymore. That said, Kipman will still stay around for two more months to help with transition.

His entire mixed reality division will be reorganized with the hardware team now reporting to the Windows + Devices (W+D) organization led by Panos Panay. Meanwhile, the Mixed Reality Presence and Collaboration teams - also responsible for Microsoft Mesh - will join the Teams organization under the Experiences + Devices division led by Jeff Teper.

It remains to be seen if this major internal restructuring has any impact on the future of some Microsoft projects, like HoloLens.

Source: GeekWire via The Verge

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