Sting Private Concert Before 10,000 Layoffs

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2023 has started with massive layoffs for a number of significant companies, including Amazon, Google parent company Alphabet, and Salesforce, among others. On January 18, Microsoft announced a whopping 10,000 layoffs expected to happen between now and the third financial quarter of 2023. Immediately before that, though, a handful of the company’s higher-ups enjoyed a private Sting concert.

The night before the layoffs were announced, the company hosted “an intimate gathering of 50 or so people, including the company’s top executives” that featured a performance from Sting, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The event took place in Davos, Switzerland to coincide with the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. WSJ noted, “While hobnobbing at Davos is part of doing business for major tech corporations and the events are planned far in advance, making it difficult to change them, some employees thought it wasn’t the right time for a company-sponsored Sting concert. The theme of the event was sustainability.”

As for the layoffs, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella noted in a message shared with Microsoft employees:

“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. This represents less than 5 percent of our total employee base, with some notifications happening today. It’s important to note that while we are eliminating roles in some areas, we will continue to hire in key strategic areas. We know this is a challenging time for each person impacted. The senior leadership team and I are committed that as we go through this process, we will do so in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible. […]

These decisions are difficult, but necessary. They are especially difficult because they impact people and people’s lives – our colleagues and friends. […] I want to extend my deepest thanks and gratitude to everyone who has contributed to Microsoft up to this point and to all of you who will continue to contribute as we chart our path ahead. Thank you for the focus, dedication, and resilience you demonstrate for Microsoft and our customers and partners each day.”

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