Alex Kipman, the lead developer of Microsoft HoloLens, is leaving the company, according to Insider. His departure comes after the same publication reported allegations that he engaged in inappropriate touching and comments towards female employees. He also reportedly fostered a culture that diminished women’s contributions. After Kipman told his team about his resignation, Microsoft cloud and AI VP Scott Guthrie announced a reorganization that would split the HoloLens group. In an email that’s also viewed by GeekWire, Guthrie said that the HoloLens hardware teams are joining the Windows + Devices group under Panos Panay. Meanwhile, the software teams are joining the Experiences + Devices division under Jeff Teper.
Guthrie also wrote that he and Kipman have been talking about the team’s path going forward over the past few months and that they had “mutually decided that this is the right time for him to leave the company to pursue other opportunities.” Kipman will apparently help with the team transitions over the next two months before leaving Microsoft entirely.
In the previous Insider piece that reported on allegations against Kipman, a source said he watched what was essentially VR porn in the office in front of his employees. A former executive also told the publication that they had witnessed him behave inappropriately towards women more than once. He recalled an incident wherein Kipman allegedly kept massaging a female employee’s shoulders even after she kept shrugging her shoulders to get him to stop. Managers were reportedly telling employees not to leave women alone around him. Eventually, 25 people got together to compile a report about the bad experiences they had with the executive.
Microsoft didn’t confirm or deny the allegations to Insider, but the company told the publication that “every reported claim [it] receive[s] is investigated, and for every claim found substantiated there is clear action taken.”