Software giant Microsoft allegedly paid more than a million pounds in order to silence a female executive who was over looked for the position of Microsoft’s UK managing director.
Sources have told Daily Telegraph, Microsoft paid more than £1million to Natalie Ayres in order to prevent her from raising hue and cry over the company’s decision to give the post to a male colleague instead of a more deserving candidate.
Ayers worked at Microsoft for more than 15 years and rose up in the company to become the general manager of “Small-Medium Enterprises and Partners Group”.
The executive was considered to be most likely candidate to replace Alistair Baker as managing director of Microsoft UK in 2006. However, Ayers lost the position to Gordon Frazer, a general manager at Microsoft South Africa, even before she had completed the interview for the post of managing director of Microsoft’s UK division.
She left the company that same year under a ‘compromise agreement’, which was worth more than £1million.
Sources claimed that the incident caused mutinous grumblings amongst the employees, who believed that there was a limit on how much a female executive can rise in Microsoft.
“They [management] do not follow procedure enough and if your face doesn’t fit, you suffer. It’s a boys’ club. The only way to progress beyond a certain point is to become a male in female clothing,” one source said.