Amid falling profits and a “re-aligned core structure,” Microsoft said on Wednesday morning that it will be laying off 10,000 workers, or around 5% of its overall workforce. Earlier that day, Microsoft treated its top executives to a private concert by Sting in Davos, Switzerland, just hours before the World Economic Forum opened. When taken together, these two incidents provide an astonishingly insensitive picture of the largest software company in the world.
The story of the performance, which took place on a Tuesday night and was attended by just around 50 people, was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. A private performance by Gordon “Sting” Matthew Thomas Summer, as one of the most famous rock musicians in the world, can cost upwards of $500,000, as reported by booking agency AAE Music. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who personally signed the blog post announcing the mass layoff, was in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, although it is unknown if he attended the performance.
Nadella did not state that executive compensation will be reduced.
A lavish, celebrity-studded executive function costing as much as five to ten years’ salary for a typical Microsoft employee certainly wouldn’t make much of a dent in the company’s aim to reduce its staff of 200 million. Microsoft isn’t the first major giant to lay off workers recently; just this morning, Google stated it will be doing the same thing, laying off 12,000 people. Even though Microsoft’s CEO insisted that the business was cutting employment “in the most careful and open way imaginable,” the corporation’s reputation has taken a major hit as a result.
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