Microsoft’s Lead Kinect Developer Alex Kipman Leaves Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Alex Kipman, the man at the forefront of a recent report into verbal abuse and sexual harassment at Microsoft is set to leave following the allegations. Kipman led development for both the Xbox Kinect and Microsoft's HoloLens. He is alleged to have used the latter to watch VR porn while casting the images on the device to a nearby monitor that staff could see.
GeekWire reported Yesterday that news of Kipman's departure had been shared within Microsoft via an email from Scott Guthrie, the head of Microsoft’s Cloud & AI Group.
"We are making some organizational changes today that will align and further accelerate our overall Metaverse efforts as a company this coming fiscal year," Guthrie's email reads. "Alex Kipman to leave the company and pursue other opportunities 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."
It reads like the sort of statement that's released when someone is told they should leave before they get pushed, which makes sense given the extent of the allegations.
Kipman leaving is happening as the Mixed Reality Hardware teams are set to merge with the Windows + Devices department. They will both work on Microsoft's Metaverse interests together. Hopefully this doesn't result in staff on either team getting made redundant.
As well as the alleged VR porn incident, Kipman is accused of creating "a culture that diminishes women’s contributions" and rubbing a woman's shoulders even after she had become visibly uncomfortable with him. It is also alleged Microsoft HR assigned him chaperones during meetings to ensure he was kept in check.
This report follows an earlier promise from Microsoft to have a third party review its anti-discrimination practices. This followed reports that an email chain alleging issues of sexism and harassment at the company was not investigated internally.
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