Microsoft Culls Metaverse Team It Created 4 Months Ago

Microsoft’s metaverse team was let go along with 4.5% of the company’s workforce last month

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The Art of Pics/Shutterstock.com modified by Blockworks

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Software giant Microsoft has culled its metaverse team, which it formed just four months ago, The Information first reported.

The team, dubbed Industrial Metaverse Core Team, was formed in October and tasked to build industrial networks and assist users with metaverse operations. 

It worked with customers across various industries including healthcare, retail and financial services. 

Notable clients included Coca-Cola, Unilever and General Motors, the executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Microsoft, Judson Althoff, said at a conference in September.

Four months later, the team comprising an estimated 100 employees was let go as part of the company’s 10,000-person job cut in January.

The majority of the metaverse team was made up of individuals who were part of Project Bonsai — a company that Microsoft had acquired in 2018. 

Bonsai is a ‘low-code AI development platform,’ which is designed to provide operators with equipment that can help them optimize processes. According to The Information, Bonsai’s co-founders Mark Hammond and Keen Browne had also been laid off.

“While we don’t comment on specific staffing details, Microsoft remains committed to the industrial metaverse,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Blockworks. “We are applying our focus to the areas of the industrial metaverse that matter most to our customers and they will see no change in how they are supported.”

Updated on Feb. 10, 2023 at 1:25 pm ET: Added comment from Microsoft.


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