10 Things in Tech: Microsoft Exec Misconduct

Good morning. Today we have a new report on what Microsoft employees are saying about executive misconduct.

Let’s get to it.

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Satya Nadella and Microsoft Executives Collage

Allen J. Schaben/Rick Maimant/Mint/Getty Images; Jenny Chang-Rodriguez/Insider

1. Microsoft employees say ‘golden boy’ executives are still running wild. When CEO Satya Nadella took charge, he vowed to implement a respectful, diverse, and inclusive work environment — bringing an end to Microsoft’s tolerance for “talented jerks.” But dozens of current and former employees told Insider that executive misconduct remains rampant.

  • One employee recalled how a high-ranking executive tested out a virtual-reality headset — by playing “VR porn” to a room of staff.  
  • According to the workers, this behavior is just part of a widespread pattern of executive misconduct, which they say includes verbal abuse and sexual harassment. 
  • A former executive who raised similar concerns said Nadella’s approach was: What’s something we can do to make it go away without making hard decisions? But this behavior has lasted years, sources say, with top execs enjoying impunity dating back to the reigns of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. 

Read the full report here.

In other news:

The Cumberland Mall Apple Store in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Cumberland Mall Apple Store in Atlanta, Georgia is one of three Apple stores with active union drives.

REUTERS/Alyssa Pointer

2. Apple is raising base pay for retail workers. According to a memo viewed by CNBC and The Wall Street Journal, Apple is increasing base pay for retail employees from $20 to $22 an hour. It comes after Apple’s retail employees recently pushed to unionize. Here’s what we know.

3. An inside look at the life of Silicon Valley private chefs. Lamborghinis, California mansions, private jets — that doesn’t sound so bad, right? Michelin-starred restaurant chefs have revealed what life is like catering to the rich and powerful, and why it isn’t always as glamorous as it seems.

4. How to attract investment in a market slump. The current economic downturn has many founders fearing that investors will have a shortage of capital. However, VCs are always on the hunt for promising startups. Two top VCs outlined four key things to secure investments.

5. How media brands make TikTok stars. As well as teens and the latest trends, TikTok is also now home to fully-fledged businesses. Publishers like The Washington Post and Lionsgate are turning to TikTok to reach new audiences. Here’s how they are launching their employees into stardom.

6. Elon Musk is funding his $44 billion Twitter buyout with his own wealth. As per the Wall Street Journal, Musk is also seeking other financial backers, including former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Here’s the latest.

7. Snap has an adorable new selfie drone. In what has been a tough week for Snap — in which CEO Evan Spiegel’s growth warning impacted the entire industry — you likely missed the other, more light-hearted news. Reviewers at WIRED have got their hands on Snap’s new self-flying selfie drone.

8. Robots could one day be doing your household chores. Dyson plans to hire 250 engineers and 700 additional robotics workers over the next five years, as part of a push to develop robots capable of completing household chores. Here’s everything we know about the company’s secret robotic prototypes.

Odds and ends:

Regent prototype on the water in Florida.

Regent prototype on the water in Florida.


9. A Boston-based startup is shaping the future of EVs. Part-plane, part-boat, the electric seaglider is capable of flying at 180 mph and will carry passengers across coastal cities. Hawaiian Airlines has already invested in this futuristic vehicle, here’s everything we know about it. 

10. Snapchat creators reveal how they make money on the platform. Some users have earned well over $1 million posting videos on the company’s Spotlight section, but only because they know how to take advantage of it. These four creators have revealed their tips and tricks for making money on Snapchat. 

What we’re watching today:

Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.

Curated by Hallam Bullock in London (Feedback or tips? Email [email protected] or tweet @hallam_bullock.)

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