HoloLens head Alex Kipman is out due to misconduct

Alex Kipman

Another one bites the dust! Alex Kipman is a name that we have heard a lot over the past decade or so, with the Technical Fellow at Microsoft behind a number of innovative products at the company.

He started working at Redmond all the way back in 2001, eventually going on to lead the teams behind technologies like Xbox Kinect and HoloLens.

However, his days were counted after the emergence of a recent report accusing him of misconduct at the workplace. No less than 25 employees recounted their experiences working with Kipman, and talked about his personality and the toxic culture propagated as a result.

This Business Insider report goes over the ugly details of the executive watching a pornographic VR video in front of everyone at the office, and making employees uncomfortable by touching them. As a matter of fact, workers were instructed not to leave female employees alone around Kipman.

Following these allegations of misconduct, Alex Kipman has resigned from the company.

In an email procured by GeekWire, Scott Guthrie, the head of Microsoft’s Cloud & AI Group informed employees that:

“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. 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.”

Interestingly, no reference to the misconduct allegations.

But there is no other explanation of this sudden exit of Kipman. It’s clear that Microsoft is not comfortable having him around. That said, he will stay around for another two months to help with the transition.

We also have confirmation that his entire mixed reality division will now be reorganized. The hardware team now reporting to the Windows + Devices organization led by Panos Panay, while the Mixed Reality Presence and Collaboration teams to join the Experiences + Devices division led by Jeff Teper.

No telling, though, on what kind of an impact this major restructuring has on the HoloLens project.