A whistleblower claims that Microsoft has engaged in corruption in Ghana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, among other places, where the American firm allegedly bribed members of governments.
In The Wall Street Journal, a former Microsoft employee has dropped a bomb in recent days: Friday, Yasser Elabd published an essay on the Lioness platform, which recently publishes texts written by whistleblowers. This former employee of the American technology giant accuses his ex-employer of having paid millions of dollars in bribes, particularly in Africa.
More specifically, Elbad claims that Microsoft regularly turns a blind eye to questionable practices by certain employees, but also contractors and government operators, who engage in alleged corruption.
In his book, Yasser Elabd indicates that local Microsoft partner companies help the American giant to sell its products to customers. In 2016, the former employee of the firm claims to have detected a payment of 40 dollars transferred to an African client. A sum that seemed to correspond to no legal transaction. Especially since, after investigation, it would have turned out that the client in question was actually a former Microsoft employee, dismissed by the firm a little earlier.
Representatives of the governments involved
"Company policy prohibits former employees from working as associates for six months after their departure," recalls Elbad, who claims to have tried to obtain answers from his management, which would have been reluctant to answer his questions.
Alerting Microsoft to potential bribes paid to customers, the former employee of the company would never have been helped by the group. Yasser Elabd was finally fired in June 2018.
The Wall Street Journal assures that Elabd, during a meeting of more than seven hours with members of the SEC, the American federal organization of regulation and control of the financial markets, in Washington, submitted evidence to the officials of the agency, who preferred not to sue Microsoft because of… the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, according to the ex-employee, "a minimum of $200 million in bribes are paid each year to employees, partners and government employees, from Microsoft". And Yasser Elabd has a well-defined list of clients: among them "representatives of the governments of Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Qatar and Saudi Arabia".
In 2019, according to Business Insider, Microsoft agreed to pay around $25 million to clear US corruption charges. The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft does not really comment on the case but says that these allegations "dating back several years" have already been the target of an internal investigation, and adds that several employees have been dismissed.