Alex Kipman, a technical fellow at Microsoft who led its augmented-reality headset project, is stepping down, the Wall Street Journal reports. Kipman has been working for Microsoft for 20 years and was in charge of the team developing the HoloLens, an augmented-reality headset that projects digital objects into the real world.
Kipman’s group had been suffering from attrition, with many employees departing for other companies, WSJ says. The group felt overworked and struggled to meet technical specifications for its contract to develop an AR headset for the U.S. Army in a deal that could be worth more than $20 billion in the coming decade, people familiar with the project said.
Microsoft was one of the first movers in augmented reality. Its HoloLens was first announced in 2015 and has evolved into one of the world’s most advanced headsets. Rather than push it as a consumer device, Microsoft positioned it as a productivity tool for workplaces.