Today, a report from OnMSFT said that employee morale at Microsoft’s livestreaming platform, Mixer, was at an all-time low. Employees are concerned about the future of the service and there are layoffs taking place there.
There is also a video that shows a newly-appointed Mixer head Shilpa Yadla making a rather harsh-sounding pitch to employees, while discussing “positivity” in workplace culture. The clip is truncated and may seem harsher when removed from the context of the full meeting, but it doesn’t exactly paint Mixer’s leadership in a sympathetic light.
You can read an excerpt that illuminates the situation below.
Mixer has had a rough few months that involved the original founders leaving the business alongside a general manager and corporate vice president. However, what hasn’t been reported is that over the last six months, there have been sixteen layoffs due to budget cuts which have shed roughly 25 percent of an already skeletal team and are causing feature releases to slip schedules.
That’s according to a Mixer employee who reached out to us, concerned about the direction and fate of Mixer… During an internal Mixer town hall last week, executives spoke to its skeleton crew of employees to address the growing sense of frustration and low morale within the business, unfortunately, their words left a lot to be desired… Shilpa Yadla had been meeting with employees one on one, presumably to assuage fears and concerns, but on stage, her words may have had the adverse effect.
Previously, we wrote about some of the troubles facing Mixer, and Microsoft provided us with this statement to address falling morale among the platform’s streamers.
“We have heard the feedback from Mixer’s community and our Partners regarding areas where we must improve the service. We recognize that increasing video stability, better discovery capabilities, additional monetization opportunities, and broadening our marketing programs are critically important to our streamers, and we are focused on supporting their success. Our new Head of Mixer, Shilpa Yadla, is committed to addressing these critical needs and in delivering an incredible experience for Mixer’s streamers and viewers. The entire Mixer team is working tirelessly behind the scenes on these and other new initiatives to help maintain our positive, welcoming culture as we continue to grow. We expect 2020 will be an exciting year for Mixer and our community.”
If it’s indeed true that Mixer is faced with staffing issues and low morale, only one thing can realistically fix it: investment. Microsoft has reportedly spent millions on key streamers like Ninja, but it doesn’t seem to have made a particularly large impact on the service thus far. If the reports about Mixer being built up of a small skeleton crew are right, without proper investment in its own staffing, we’re not sure how Microsoft expects to catch up to Twitch and YouTube.
Indeed, Microsoft has a history of underfunding promising projects, ultimately leading to them being shut down. Is Mixer doomed to join them? Let us know what you think.