Before the mass layoffs, Microsoft held a Sting concert for top executives only with invitations: Reports that Microsoft held an exclusive music event for top executives in Davos, Switzerland, prior to announcing mass layoffs are drawing criticism.
The multinational corporation treated 50 executives, including some of its most senior employees, to an “intimate” performance by British musician Sting on Tuesday, January 17, during the annual World Economic Forum, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The singer can be hired for a private gig for more than US$500,000, according to booking agency AAE Music.
Microsoft announced the following day that it would cut 10,000 jobs and deduct 1.2 billion dollars from earnings as its cloud computing customers reevaluate their spending and the company prepares for a possible recession.
CEO Satya Nadella made an effort to address the divergent outlook for various parts of the business in a note to employees. He added that the largest retrenchment exercise since 2014 would end by the end of March.
He stated that customers wanted to “exercise caution as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one” and “optimize their digital spend to do more with less.” AI advancements are also birthing the next major computing wave at the same time.”
However, despite the fact that Microsoft’s party was said to be about sustainability, unnamed Microsoft employees told the WSJ they were unimpressed by the divergent events.
On social media, Microsoft was also criticized, with some criticizing the company.
Genevieve Roch-Decter, the chief executive officer of the financial media platform Grit Capital, stated that it reflected poorly on the company.
“Microsoft: Let’s hire Sting for a private concert at the World Economic Forum for 50 executives. Microsoft as well: “Let’s fire 5 percent of our employees,” she tweeted.
On social media, Rita Gunther McGrath, a professor at Columbia Business School, and Angus Norton, CEO of Seattle-based Bodhi Venture Labs and a former vice president at Microsoft, also said that what happened would hurt the company’s reputation.
When contacted by Fortune magazine and other media outlets, Microsoft representatives declined to provide a response.