Coronavirus Updates: Newsom Relaxes Restrictions; Microsoft CEO Isn't Convinced of Working From Home Future

Here are the latest headlines regarding how the novel coronavirus is impacting the Los Angeles startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for the latest updates.


  • CA Gov. Newsom announces loosening of restrictions
  • Microsoft CEO Nadella isn't completely convinced about working from home permanently

    CA Gov. Newsom announces loosening of restrictions

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced at his daily update on Monday that "roughly" 53 of the state's 58 counties are now eligible to move into a less restrictive phase that may include reopening restaurants and office buildings, at each county's discretion. Newsom did not specify which five counties must remain under strict stay-at-home orders, but he mentioned that some of the "larger counties" will be able to advance their re-openings. The Governor emphasized that local officials will be empowered to move at their own pace based on local conditions.

    "We are also looking forward in the next few weeks to a number of significant milestones that are worthy of highlighting," he continued.

    If current rates hold, in-store retail could "be loosened up" statewide, and professional sports could resume without live spectators and under strict conditions as soon as the first week of June. Hair salons and barbershops are now eligible to open on a region-by-region basis and are candidates for statewide loosening if trends hold. Religious gatherings, too, were described as "a few weeks away – not months, weeks – if everything holds."

    "We are encouraged by the progress and the only thing that will set us back is if we move too quickly," said Newsom.

    Microsoft CEO Nadella isn't completely convinced about working from home permanently

    Microsoft is not taking the same financial beating as many of its peers due to the pandemic. Revenue jumped 15% in the first quarter of 2020, Microsoft Teams users increased by more than 70% in April, and the company's stock price is up 14% this year. But financials aren't everything to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

    He is still concerned about the changes to work that the coronavirus crisis is forcing. Nadella spoke with the staff of the New York Times this week about the challenges he's navigating as Microsoft's leader. "What I miss is when you walk into a physical meeting, you are talking to the person that is next to you, you're able to connect with them for the two minutes before and after," he said.

    Nadella's concern doesn't appear to be shared widely throughout the technology industry. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey notified staff this week that they should feel free to work from home indefinitely if they choose. Other big tech players have also given employees the option to telecommute for the rest of the year. --GeekWire

    Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


    Activision Buys Game Studio Proletariat To Expand ‘World of Warcraft’ Staff

    Samson Amore

    Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

    Xbox\u2019s various game developers it now owns: Activision, Blizzard and King.
    Courtesy of Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard intends to acquire Proletariat, a Boston-based game studio that developed the wizard-themed battle royale game “Spellbreak.”

    Read moreShow less

    Bling Capital’s Kyle Lui On How Small Funds Can Better Support Young Founders

    Minnie Ingersoll
    Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
    Bling Capital’s Kyle Lui On How Small Funds Can Better Support Young Founders

    On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Bling Capital’s Kyle Lui talks about why he moved earlier stage in his investing and how investors can best support founders.

    Lui joined his friend—and first angel investor—Ben Ling as a general partner at Bling Capital, which focuses on pre-seed and seed-stage funding rounds. The desire to work in earlier funding stages alongside someone he knew well drew him away from his role as a partner at multi-billion-dollar venture firm DCM, where he was part of the team that invested in, now known as TikTok.

    Read moreShow less