Sam Diaz does not believe this. Neither can I. I know I read The Economist article about the ad agency is a maverick and boast in its CV about a few good ad campaign. That raise the possibility that it is indeed “planned” (inverted commas deliberate). For any ad campaign, you shot a few, waited to see the reaction and then decide on the next steps. If the first few does not pass the muster, you can drop the campaign, or revamp the campaign. They obviously chose to revamp. So, is dropping Sienfeld a planned move? In a sense, since they are moving to plan B, it is 😉
As for Sienfeld’s payment, I don’t think he got the full amount, but he would had got a proportion of it. The amount would had been negotiated well in advance.
If you asked me, Microsoft dropped the wrong person. They should had dropped Gates instead. I have no axe to grind with Gates personally. Looking at the adverts so far, he is the wrong person for the job.