Microsoft and Misconduct

May 20, 2019

Microsoft acknowledges it has a problem with workplace misconduct, and is dedicating resources to get to the bottom of it. Quartz reports, “Microsoft Is Tripling the Size of its Team Investigating Workplace Misconduct.” Since March 2019, the company has been coping with reports of harassment and discrimination that were first expressed on their internal message board. Within a week of those reports, some preliminary changes were implemented, including increased manager training and a promise of more data transparency. Writer Dave Gershgorn tells us:

“Microsoft’s head of HR, Kathleen Hogan, told employees she had met with 100 men and women who have come forward about misconduct inside the company, a number Microsoft confirmed to Quartz. Hogan will focus on reforming five areas of internal culture: behavior, manager expectations, investigations, accountability, and data transparency. Each of those areas was also mentioned in a letter Nadella sent to Microsoft employees last month. Microsoft chief legal officer Brad Smith also told employees that the company is expanding its Corporate, External, & Legal Affairs (CELA) team, which investigates these matters, from 7 people to 23. The senior leadership team (SLT) now meets every week about this topic, employees were told, though a Microsoft representative notes that company culture has long been a staple of the weekly SLT meetings.”

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella allegedly said: “I want people to point out my flaws.”

Admitting there is a problem and making an effort to fix it is often the wisest course. We shall see where Microsoft takes it from here.

Cynthia Murrell, May 20, 2019


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