A former Microsoft employee faces criminal charges for allegedly passing trade secrets to a blogger in France, federal court documents in Seattle show.
Alex Kibkalo, a Russian who worked for Microsoft in Lebanon and Russia, admitted to Microsoft investigators that he provided confidential company documents and information to the blogger, according to the the documents.
The blogger, who was not identified, was known to the Microsoft blogging community for posting screenshots of a pre-release version of the Windows Operating System.
An internal investigation by Microsoft revealed unauthorized transmissions of proprietary and confidential trade secrets, the court documents said. An email from Kibkalo was found within the blogger's Hotmail account, establishing that he shared confidential data.
"We take protection of our intellectual property very seriously, including cooperating with law-enforcement agencies who are investigating potential criminal actions by our employees or others," a Microsoft spokesman said in an emailed statement to Reuters. A lawyer representing Kibkalo could not immediately be reached for comment.
Kibkalo, who worked with Microsoft for seven years, received a poor performance review in 2012 and threatened to resign if the review was not amended, the court documents note. According to an FBI agent who was part of the investigation, Kibkalo has moved to Russia and based on a LinkedIn account, he is currently working for another U.S.-based technology company with offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg.