After the predictable backlash over the release of a letter asking some former Microsoft employees to return overly generous severance pay, the software giant has had a change of heart and mind, announcing that they’ll get to keep the extra dough.
Now that – with this update to the story – Microsoft isn’t dealing with quite as nightmarish a PR fiasco, we’re finally getting some more details, as well. Of the 1,400 employees whose positions were axed by MS back in January, an administrative error resulted in 25 of them accidentally being given severance packages $4,000 to $5,000 higher than they should have been.
A letter sent to one of these 25 former employees explaining the error and asking them to refund the money surfaced on the Internet over the weekend, and predictably spread like wildfire through the proverbial grapevine. Lisa Brummel, Microsoft’s Senior VP of Human Resources, learned of the letters only after the copy appeared on technology blog TechCrunch. Brummel then proceeded to individually call each of the 25 employees in question in order to personally tell them that the company would no longer be asking them to return the extra cash.
“I decided it didn’t quite feel right,” said Brummel.
So, great news for those 25 – less awesome for the other 1,375 who didn’t find an extra five grand in their severance checks.
Well, make that 1,376. Somebody probably got fired for this mix-up.