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Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman, who guided development on the Xbox Kinect as well as the Microsoft HoloLens smartglasses, is leaving the company after a number of misconduct allegations, Insider and Kotaku report.
The allegations include touching female employees inappropriately, as well as watching “VR porn” while at work.
The VR porn incident reportedly took place in 2015, when Microsoft’s mixed-reality team were testing out a prototype for a VR headset. Kipman apparently put on the headset and selected what was described as an “overtly sexualised pillow fight” video. This was allegedly on display for everyone in the room to see, as the headset’s display was mirrored onto a monitor in the room.
Kotaku also report that a former Microsoft executive had told Insider that they’d seen Kipman rubbing a woman’s shoulders, and despite her trying to stop him and looking “deeply uncomfortable”, he carried on.
Earlier this week, GeekWire reported that an email was sent out within the company on Tuesday signalling Kipman’s departure, although it didn’t touch on any of the allegations: “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,” Scott Guthrie, the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and AI Group wrote in the email. “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.”
A similar message was given to Kotaku from a Microsoft spokesperson, who said that after a two-month transitional period, Kipman would be leaving to “pursue other interests”.
Featured Image Credit: CNBC Television via YouTube, Vinicius "amnx" Amano via Unsplash
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