Microsoft’s 10K Layoffs ‘It Hurts’

Phil Spencer speaks in front of an Xbox logo.

Photograph: Patrick T. Fallon (Getty Pictures)

A few hours ago, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer sent a company-wide email to all full-time employees under Microsoft’s gaming divisions. A copy of the email was shared with: kotaku By a current Xbox employee, we’ve confirmed its authenticity and the full text is transcribed below:

This has been a rough week across Microsoft and within our teams here. Now that most of the one-on-one and team conversations have taken place, I’d like to take some time to reiterate the message you heard from your leaders.

This is a tough moment in our business and this week’s actions were painful choices. The Gaming Leadership Team has had to make decisions that we think prepare us for the long-term success of our products and business, but the individual consequences of those decisions are real. I know this hurts. Thank you for supporting our colleagues as they process these changes.

In the coming weeks, we’ll have many opportunities to connect and answer your questions, including the Monthly Game Update next week for teams attending the meeting, and I’m in close contact with the teams at ZeniMax to provide support. GLT and I are committed to being as transparent as we can. It is difficult to move forward in uncertainty, but I am confident that we will get through this difficult moment together.

Xbox has a long history of success thanks to the work you do at the service of gamers, creators and each other. In these times of change, your work is deeply appreciated and valued and is an integral part of our business momentum. I have confidence in our future and I am proud to be a part of this team, but I also recognize that this is a challenging time and I want to thank you for everything you have done here.


on January 18 Microsoft lays off 10,000 employees throughout the company. These layoffs included game studios such as 343 Industries, The Coalition, ZeniMax Media, and Bethesda Game Studios. Available on Xbox struggled to air first-party titles last yearIt is under tremendous pressure to release flamboyant blockbuster titles such as star field. Some of the people who lost their jobs include: senior talentand it occurred a year after the publisher collected the pocket coin. Activision buys Blizzard for $70 billion. kotaku reached out to Microsoft for a clarification, but did not receive a response until the release date.

“This sounds like something you’re compelled to send,” wrote one current employee at Xbox. kotaku. “I seriously doubt that monthly game updates or other meetings will do anything to make anyone feel better.”

Technology workers union CODE-CWA make a statement Noting that on January 19, its representatives were in contact with Microsoft. The company is “aware of its obligation to negotiate any proposed dismissal of CWA members at ZeniMax.” The ZeniMax union plans to negotiate “alternatives to layoffs.”



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