That Stings: Microsoft Hosts Sting Concert Before Laying Off 10,000 Employees

CEO Satya Nadella said in an email to employees that the layoffs would only affect 5% of the company, but would begin this week.

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The concert occurred on Tuesday in Davos, Switzerland while the company announced layoffs the following day.
The concert occurred on Tuesday in Davos, Switzerland while the company announced layoffs the following day.
Image: Sean Gallup (Getty Images)

Layoffs are plaguing the tech industry left and right, but that doesn’t mean the big-wigs have to suffer too. Ahead of laying off several thousand employees, Microsoft hosted an exclusive Sting concert at Davos for executives.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that the concert was about 50 people, including executives from Microsoft, who got to enjoy the musings of English rock artist Sting. The concert reportedly occurred on Tuesday in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum and the following day the company announces its largest sweep of layoffs yet—10,000 employees. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella issued a memo to staff on Wednesday announcing the layoffs, some of which began the same day.

“We’re living through times of significant change, and as I meet with customers and partners, a few things are clear. First, as we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we’re now seeing them optimize their digital spend to do more with less,” Nadella wrote. “Today, we are making changes that will result in the reduction of our overall workforce by 10,000 jobs through the end of FY23 Q3.”

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Microsoft says that the layoffs will last through Q3 of 2023, and that the blow will only impact 5% of the company’s workforce. The burn of these layoffs is exacerbated not only by the execs living it up in Switzerland, but also due to the company backtracking on its claims that talk of layoffs was simply hearsay. A Microsoft spokesperson told Gizmodo in an email earlier this week that layoffs at the company were a “rumor.”

Layoffs have hit the tech industry far and wide over the past several months, with some of the titans like Microsoft and Google making huge cuts to their workforce while citing economic uncertainty. Amazon also wound up announcing a plan to cut thousands of positions earlier this month.