For some surprising reason, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) thought it to be a good idea to hire scantily clad dancers, dressed like schoolgirls, for an after-party to wrap up its Game Developers Conference session this
Suffice to say, attendants felt uncomfortable at seeing them follow routines atop podiums – wondering the connection between it and the company’s gaming division. Pictures were soon posted online by various folks to express disgust, including developer Henrik Ludvigsen and Kamina Vincent, who both stated that they would be filing a formal complaint against Microsoft.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer took notice of the situation, forwarding a statement to GameSpotthat the GDC after-party was “unequivocally wrong” and does not represent the company’s values. He added that such events are not going to be tolerated and that Microsoft needs “to do better” in the future.
Spencer’s comments were then followed by Xbox Marketing Director Aaron Greenberg, who took to Twitter to express disappointment and promised to follow the complaint with the firm’s marketing team.
Following the initial PR damage control, Spencer sent out a memo to all Microsoft employees, expressing how the company needs to come together to hold itself “to higher standards” and portray its culture to consumers in better ways.
As for the GDC after-party itself, Spencer stated that the matter is being handled internally. He clarified in his memo that everything Microsoft does reflects its brand, and this event only tarnished that image. He personally pledged his commitment to make sure such a thing never happens again.