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Was passed over for the top job at Microsoft UK

Microsoft UK reportedly paid off female exec

Microsoft reportedly paid off a female executive after passing her over for the top job at Microsoft UK.

The Daily Telegraph revealed that former Microsoft SME boss and 15-year company veteran Natalie Ayres was paid "more than £1million" in return for her silence over the hiring of Microsoft South Africa boss Gordon Frazer before her Ayre’s interview process was even concluded.

"It’s a boys’ club," a source told the Telegraph of Microsoft UK’s working environment. "The only way to progress beyond a certain point is to become a male in female clothing," they added.

The Telegraph reported that Ayers’ departure caused anger among employees who thought she had been unfairly treated.

Earlier this month Microsoft became embroiled in a legal battle with former general manager Simon Negus. Negus was dismissed by the company following a sexual harassment complaint stemming from a party in Atlanta in 2009.

Microsoft launched legal action to recoup £75,000 of his signing on bonus. Negus launched a £10m counter-suit against Microsoft alleging wrongful dismissal and harassment at the hands of Microsoft UK MD Gordon Frazer.

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