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

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    The Los Angeles City Council capped service charges third-party delivery services like Postmates, Grubhub, Uber Eats can pass on to restaurants at 15% of the purchase price during the pandemic following similar moves in San Francisco, Seattle and other major cities.

    Restaurants have long complained about charges from the popular apps as high as 30% are eating away at their business, and those worries have grown during the pandemic, as owners find themselves relying more heavily on the services.

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    Venture capital has fueled billions of dollars in wealth but it has largely excluded black Americans. Only 1% of venture-funded startup founders are black and more than 80% of venture firms don't have a single black investor.

    Blck VC, a group of young black investors and entrepreneurs are calling on the venture capitalist community to diversify their ranks and support the black community. Declaring Thursday, June 4th, a day of action, the group launched a campaign called "We Won't Wait."

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