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Monday, 16 April 2012 11:14

Microsoft exports embarrassment to China

Written by Nick Farrell



Transportation? That will do nicely


A top Vole, whose rule as managing director of Microsoft UK was labelled as a culture of sexual harassment and boozing has been appointed chief operating officer of the computer giant's Greater China operation, which also includes Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Officially the role is part of a management shake-up aimed at bolstering its presence in the region, but according to the Daily Telegraph Gordon Frazer got a rum deal and that was not normally his tipple of choice. The South African-born executive will do a job swap with Michael van der Bel and report to Ralph Haupter, formerly head of Microsoft Germany, who has effectively overtaken him to take the top job in China.  Haupter is replacing Simon Leung who has quit as chief executive for "personal and family reasons".

Frazer's rule in the UK was blighted by a high profile court case which showed Microsoft UK  to be a hot bed of sexual harassment and pissheads.  Former vole Simon Negus, accused Frazer of trying to oust  him over alleged sexual harassment before a formal investigation into his behaviour had ended. The case was settled and all charges dropped but the highly public incident which showed up "excessive drunkenness" and lewd behaviour at Microsoft.  This caused the company severe embarrassment and much mirth everywhere else.

Frazer acknowledged there had been "a few lows" during his tenure, but said he still regarded the UK division as Microsoft's "crown jewel" outside America.

Nick Farrell

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