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Microsoft lays off 10,000 people ‘hurts’

Phil Spencer speaks in front of an Xbox logo.

Photo: Patrick T Fallon (Getty Images)

A few hours agoXbox CEO Phil Spencer sent a company-wide email to all full-time employees of Microsoft’s gaming divisions. A copy of the email has been shared with my city by a current Xbox employee we have confirmed its authenticity and the full text is transcribed below:

This has been a tough week for Microsoft and here, within our teams. Now that many of the 1:1 and team conversations have taken place, let me take a moment to reiterate the message you have heard from your leaders.

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

We will have many opportunities to connect with each other and answer your questions over the coming weeks, including next week’s Monthly Gaming Update for teams attending that meeting, and I’m in close contact with teams at ZeniMax to provide support. The GLT and I do everything we can to be as transparent as possible. Moving forward with ambiguity is challenging, 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 in the service of players, creators and each other. Your work is highly valued and valued in these times of change and is an integral part of our business momentum. I am confident in our future and proud to be a part of this team, but I am also aware that this is a challenging time and I want to thank you for all you are doing here.


on January 18 Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees throughout the company. These layoffs include game studios such as 343 Industries, The Coalition, ZeniMax Media and Bethesda Game Studios. Xbox has struggled to release first-party titles last yearand is under tremendous pressure for flashy blockbuster titles like Star field. Some of the people who lost their jobs include senior talentand took place a year after the publisher sent the loose change to Buying Activision Blizzard for $70 Billion. my city has reached out to Microsoft for a statement, but has not received a response at time of publication.

“This feels like something you’re obligated to send,” a current Xbox employee wrote via text message my city. “I highly doubt all those monthly game updates or other meetings will do anything to make anyone feel better.”

The technical union CODE-CWA giving a statement on Jan. 19, stating that their representatives have been in contact with Microsoft. The company “acknowledges its obligation to negotiate proposed layoffs of CWA members at ZeniMax.” The trade union ZeniMax plans to negotiate “alternatives to layoffs”.

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