Watching VR “little movies” in the office, suspected of sexual harassment, the head of Microsoft HoloLens will leave

On the race to the Metaverse, Meta, which is in the limelight, is of course indispensable, but Microsoft is actually one of the "seed players", but the two companies have had some ups and downs in personnel changes recently.

David Mortenson, the company's head of data centers and infrastructure, is stepping down, to be replaced by current vice president of engineering Santosh Janardhan later this month, according to an internal memo from Meta. Although leaving the post, David will not leave Meta for the time being, but will take a long break.

▲ Picture from: IronFX

Not long ago, in an email sent by Scott Guthrie, the head of Microsoft's cloud and artificial intelligence department, it was mentioned that Alex Kipman, the executive who led Microsoft's HoloLens mixed reality platform project, was leaving the company. But not immediately, he will help the team through the transition over the next two months before leaving.

▲Alex Kipman, picture from: NewTechTown

In addition, the mixed reality hardware team will also be reorganized to join the "Windows + Devices" division led by the original Surface head Panos Panay. The Mixed Reality Presence and Collaboration team will join the Teams group in the Experiences + Devices division led by Jeff Teper.

▲ Panos Panay, picture from: Microsoft News

Scott Guthrie wrote in the email: Alex Kipman and I have been talking about the team's path forward for the past few months, and we have jointly decided that now is the right time for him to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. I thank Alex for the tremendous vision he has given to Microsoft over the years, and for everything he has done to advance our Metaverse products.

Although the email did not specify the reasons for Alex Kipman's sudden departure from Microsoft, judging from recent events within Microsoft, the reason for his departure should be his alleged abuse of colleagues and sexual harassment inappropriate behavior.

▲Scott Guthrie, picture from: CNBC

It was reported in May that about 25 Microsoft employees had filed an internal report on Kipman's alleged misconduct. The report alleges that the executive watched pornographic VR videos in the office where colleagues were present, as well as inappropriate verbal and physical contact with female employees.

Microsoft has not responded positively to these incidents and complaints, but Alex Kipman's departure may also be a subtle indication of the company's handling of it.

▲ Picture from: TheGamer

As the subject of the complaint, Alex Kipman's departure should be good news for the employee who filed the complaint. As the head of the mixed reality project, Kipman's departure also makes people curious about how the HoloLens series of mixed reality devices he developed will develop in the future, and how will Microsoft develop mixed reality and even the metaverse in the future?

In Scott Guthrie's email, it actually revealed Microsoft's "big move" in mixed reality: Microsoft will cooperate with the US Army and the IVAS project (Integrated Visual Augmentation System) to build a next-generation solution, and every soldier will use mixed reality. The headset is officially approved by the U.S. Army to enter the Operational Test (OT) phase.

▲ Picture from: Microsoft News

Not only technology, but also the ideas of the developers are incorporated as the product gradually takes shape. If the behavior of the development team leader causes controversy, it will naturally also have an impact on the product. Whether or not the HoloLens 3 is still available is unknown, but Microsoft's competition on the track doesn't seem to be affected much.

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