Auctioning off the privilege of initiating the destruction of the Microsoft old campus

Raymond Chen

Microsoft employee Matthew Whilden bid over $12,000 to win the auction to start the destruction of the Microsoft old campus. That article is behind a paywall, so here’s some Twitter instead.

Every October, the employee Giving Campaign encourages employees to donate time and money to nonprofit organizations, and one of the ways this is done is by auctioning off various donated items and experiences. For example, the Real Estate and Facilities department usually offers for auction a reserved parking space in each building’s parking garage for one year. (I believe the policy is that if you are moved to a new building, the parking space moves with you.)

It was a long-time employee (let’s call him Bob) who convinced the Real Estate and Facilities department to add “Destroying the old campus buildings” as an experience in the Giving Campaign, and he planned on bidding to win it. Eventually, two bidding groups emerged, Bob’s and another group.

Bob had a change of heart and realized that he couldn’t be the one to destroy what held so much sentimental value to him. His bidding group backed down, and the other group won.

There’s another story behind the story. Early in the auction, a newly-hired employee intended to bid $150.00 on the experience, but accidentally bid $15,000. The auction admins said that they didn’t have a way to cancel the bid. After all, “all bids are final”, says so right there on the Web site. Upon learning of the situation, a number of Microsofties were prepared to cover the bid out of our own pockets to save a young employee from having to make a charitable contribution she was not financially equipped for. But after extensive cajoling, the auction admins managed to find a way to cancel the erroneous bid.

Bonus chatter: One of my colleagues quipped, “Hey, I worked on Windows Me and Windows Vista, but do I get any credit for wrecking Microsoft?”


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  • Kázmér Nádudvari 0

    Will the product Walk of Fame be preserved somewhere building 16-17? I was there ten years ago, and building 18 looked like 80s.

    • Adam 0

      It’s still there. The 16/17/18 buildings aren’t being demolished.

  • cheong00 0

    On the other hand, when one of my ex-company expand to the adjacent room in the building, I got the privilege to use sledgehammer to knock off the wall between the rooms.

    And my boss enjoyed that experience very much.

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