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Microsoft Sacks Staff After Bribery Probe

Microsoft has confirmed it fired employees and terminated contractual partnerships due to bribery and corruption in the Middle East over a number of years.

This disclosure came after former Microsoft manager Yasser Elabd blew the whistle on the company’s widespread bribery and corruption across several Middle Eastern countries.

Elabd was a senior director at Microsoft for twenty years, before being fired in 2018.

He wrote:

“I was recruited by Microsoft in 1998, and I helped bring the company’s products throughout the Middle East and Africa for the next 20 years. I was successful and received many promotions. But eventually, I noticed something strange: many employees younger than me, in lower positions, were driving luxury cars and purchasing homes sometimes worth millions of dollars.

“For my part, I could not afford to buy a home, let alone anything else luxurious, despite my career success. I wondered, naively, whether these colleagues had families with money—but if so, why would they be working on a Microsoft sales team?”

The answer was a series of kickback schemes, in which Microsoft staffers, local partners, and even government officials would benefit.

“We believe we’ve previously investigated these allegations, which are many years old, and addressed them,” Becky Lenaburg, Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel of compliance and ethics, said in a statement.

“We cooperated with government agencies to resolve any concerns.”

Microsoft said it has also terminated employees and severed partner relationships, as part of the investigate into the practices.

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