Microsoft exec resigns following ‘erotic pillow fight’ VR porn allegations

The head of Microsoft's virtual reality HoloLens group has resigned following accusations of inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment at the tech firm.

Alex Kipman, an artificial intelligence engineer and the lead developer of the HoloLens programme, has departed the company less than two weeks after reports emerged claiming he sexually harassed colleagues and allegedly watched an 'erotic' VR pillow fight in front of them.

According to GeekWire, an internal Microsoft memo from the company's head of Cloud & AI Scott Guthrie said that its Mixed Reality Hardware Group was being restructured. He added that Alex Kipman was leaving the company 'to pursue other opportunities'. The email did not state whether the allegations were linked to Kipman's departure.

The email read: "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."

According to a report by Insider, the claims about Kipman were made by dozens of current and former Microsoft staff, who said he and other executives had engaged in verbal abuse and sexual harassment.

They alleged Kipman watched a 'lewd' VR video in front of staff, which one employee described as 'VR porn'. They claimed it featured women in skimpy clothing 'frolicking' on a bed and having a pillow fight.

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The changes to the HoloLens team come after pledges by CEO Satya Nadella to change the company's culture and end its tolerance for 'talented jerks'.

Microsoft has been approached for comment on Kipman's departure. The tech giant previously told PCGamesN: "Microsoft's leadership team has established a robust process for reporting and investigating every concern, and however employees choose to report them, we ensure they go through that thorough process.

"Every reported claim we receive is investigated, and for every claim found substantiated there is clear action taken. 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."

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