Alex Kipman, who oversaw the teams that built Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset and the Kinect motion controller for Xbox, has left the company.
His departure follows complaints and allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse.
While Microsoft has yet to comment on Kipman’s resignation, an internal email obtained by Geek Wire confirmed his departure. The email describes Kipman’s departure as a business reorganization.
“We have mutually decided that this is the right time for him to leave the company to pursue other opportunities,” Microsoft cloud boss Scott Guthrie wrote.
According to the internal email sent out Tuesday evening, the company has reorganized Kipman’s mixed reality division. The company’s Mixed Reality Hardware group will join Panos Panay’s Windows & Devices organization. Futhermore, the Mixed Reality Presence and Collaboration group will join the Microsoft Teams organization in the Experiences & Devices division. The memo also indicates that Kipman will continue for two more months to aid the transition. However, it says nothing about the allegations.
According to Guthrie in the email, the changes “will align and further accelerate our overall Metaverse efforts as a company this coming fiscal year.”
“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,” Guthrie added.
Alex Kipman Sexual Harrasment Allegations
Additionaly, a previous insider report alleges that over 25 Microsoft employees participated in an internal report regarding Kipman’s misconduct allegations. These allegations included incidents of unwanted touching, sexual harassment, and verbal abuse. The sources also reported that Kipman allegedly watched a pornographic VR film in front of coworkers at one time.
More sources told Insider that the HR had instructed them not to leave ladies alone in Kipman’s vicinity. According to the report, the Human Resources Department had to chaperone Kipman during meetings.
Kipman began working at Microsoft in 2001. He has the status of technical fellow and is credited with developing technologies such as; the Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headset and the Xbox Kinect motion controller.
What are your thoughts on Kipmans resignation? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.