Mi­crosoft be­gins lat­est round of lay­offs amid re­or­ga­ni­za­tion

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - HAYLEY TSUKAYAMA

Mi­crosoft has started cut­ting thou­sands of po­si­tions, mostly in its sales depart­ment, days after an­nounc­ing it would shift its sales strat­egy to fo­cus more on cloud ser­vices than on its tra­di­tional server and desk­top busi­nesses.

“Mi­crosoft is im­ple­ment­ing changes to bet­ter serve our cus­tomers and part­ners. To­day, we are tak­ing steps to no­tify some em­ploy­ees that their jobs are un­der con­sid­er­a­tion or that their po­si­tions will be elim­i­nated,” the com­pany said in a state­ment to The Wash­ing­ton Post. “Like all com­pa­nies, we eval­u­ate our busi­ness on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. This can re­sult in in­creased in­vest­ment in some places and, from time-to-time, re­de­ploy­ment in others.”

The job cuts were ex­pected after Mi­crosoft’s an­nounce­ment last week. A ma­jor­ity of the cuts will be made to po­si­tions out­side of the United States, the com­pany said. Mi­crosoft said that thou­sands of jobs would be elim­i­nated, but it de­clined to con­firm re­ports that place that fig­ure at 3,000 po­si­tions.

There will also be a few cuts at the firm’s head­quar­ters in Red­mond, Wash., the Seat­tle Times re­ported.

Cloud ser­vices have been the main fo­cus for Mi­crosoft chief ex­ec­u­tive Satya Nadella since he took over the com­pany in 2014 with a man­date to mod­ern­ize the firm for a mo­bile-first, cloud-first world. Nadella, who came up through the firm’s cloud di­vi­sion, has nar­rowed Mi­crosoft’s fo­cus and doggedly trimmed the com­pany’s work­force.

In 2014, he an­nounced he planned to cut up to 18,000 jobs.

Many cuts came from the firm’s smart­phone di­vi­sion, which Nadella sold off in 2016, two years after his pre­de­ces­sor pur­chased them for $7.2 bil­lion. Last July, Mi­crosoft said it would cut 2,850 po­si­tions.

Nadella’s fo­cus on the cloud has paid off for the soft­ware gi­ant. In April, the com­pany said that the Azure di­vi­sion had grown its rev­enue by 93 per cent over the same pe­riod the pre­vi­ous year. Its main ri­val for cloud dom­i­nance is Ama­zon — which is the mar­ket leader with its Ama­zon Web Ser­vices — but Mi­crosoft’s strong growth has cheered in­vestors and im­pressed an­a­lysts.

The cuts to the sales force are meant to stream­line Azure sales, in line with the sim­pli­fied sales phi­los­o­phy out­lined in an in­ter­nal Mi­crosoft memo leaked to the me­dia ear­lier this week.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Mi­crosoft is lay­ing off thou­sands of em­ploy­ees in a shake-up aimed at sell­ing more sub­scrip­tions to soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tions that can be used on any in­ter­net-con­nected de­vice.

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