Xbox’s Phil Spencer Says Microsoft’s 10K Layoffs ‘Hurts’ In Email To Staff

Phil Spencer speaks in front of an Xbox logo.

Just a few hours in the past, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer despatched out a company-wide e-mail to all full-time staff beneath Microsoft’s gaming divisions. A duplicate of the e-mail was shared with Kotaku by a present Xbox worker, now we have confirmed its authenticity, and the total textual content has been transcribed beneath:

This has been a troublesome week throughout Microsoft, and right here, inside our groups. Now that most of the 1:1 and staff conversations have occurred, I need to take a second to reiterate the message that you simply heard out of your leaders.

This can be a difficult second in our enterprise, and this week’s actions have been painful selections. The Gaming Management Staff needed to make choices that we felt set us up for the long-term success of our merchandise and enterprise, however the person outcomes of these choices are actual. I do know that hurts. Thanks for supporting our colleagues as they course of these modifications.

Over the approaching weeks we can have many alternatives to attach and reply your questions, together with the Month-to-month Gaming Replace subsequent week for groups who attend that assembly, and I’m in shut contact with groups at ZeniMax to offer help. The GLT and I are dedicated to being as clear as we will. Shifting ahead with ambiguity is difficult, however I’m assured that collectively, we are going to get by this troublesome second in time.

Xbox has an extended historical past of success due to the work you do in service of gamers, creators, and one another. Your work is so deeply appreciated and valued in these occasions of change and is integral to our enterprise momentum. I’m assured in our future and proud to be a part of this staff, but additionally aware that this can be a difficult time and I need to thanks for every part you do right here.


On January 18, Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees throughout the corporate. These layoffs included gaming studios resembling 343 Industries, The Coalition, ZeniMax Media, and Bethesda Recreation Studios. Xbox has struggled to release first-party titles last year, and is beneath large stress to ship flashy blockbuster titles resembling Starfield. A few of the individuals who have misplaced their jobs embrace senior talent, and occurred a 12 months after the writer scourged up the pocket change to purchase Activision Blizzard for $70 billion. Kotaku has reached out to Microsoft for an announcement, however didn’t obtain a response by the point of publication.

“This seems like one thing you ship out on obligation,” wrote a present worker at Xbox over textual content messages to Kotaku. “I severely doubt any of these month-to-month gaming updates or different conferences are going to do something to make anybody really feel higher.”

The tech employees’ union CODE-CWA put out a statement on January 19, stating that their representatives have been in touch with Microsoft. The corporate “acknowledges its obligation to cut price over any proposed layoffs of CWA members at ZeniMax.” The ZeniMax union intends to barter on “options to layoffs.”


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