Alex Kipman to leave Microsoft following report of toxic behaviour

Kipman was said to be supporting "a culture that diminishes women’s contributions"

Following reports of toxic behaviour, an internal email has revealed that HoloLens developer Alex Kipman is leaving Microsoft.

Back in May a report on Alex Kipman – who was the lead developer on the HoloLens smart glasses – alleged that he was watching what is described as “VR porn” whilst it was being mirrored onto another screen with female employees watching.

Now, a GeekWire report from yesterday (June 7) says in an internal email that the HoloLens mixed reality group is being split up, with Kipman set to leave Microsoft as a result. In the email, head of the Cloud and AI Group Scott Guthrie said:

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“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,” wrote Guthrie.

“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.”

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Microsoft logo. Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images

Guthrie’s apparent statement follows word from Microsoft after the initial report surfaced, where the company said it would take “clear action” where needed. “This disciplinary action can range from termination, to demotion, loss of pay or bonus, official reprimand, mandatory training, coaching, or combination of some of these.”

The initial report also alleged that multiple managers had to make an effort to not leave female staff near Kipman, with him needing “chaperones” from human resources meetings, although Microsoft denies this took place.

Furthermore, Kipman was accused of enabling “a culture that diminishes women’s contributions”, as well as making women “deeply uncomfortable” with physical contact.

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As of publication Microsoft is yet to comment on Kipman’s departure, but this story shall be updated should it happen.

In other news, a sequel to 1-2-Switch is apparently in the works at Nintendo, although its been shelved due to poor testing reception.

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