Mi­crosoft said to be cut­ting up to 4,000 jobs

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

STEVE LOHR

Mi­crosoft is over­haul­ing its big sales and mar­ket­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion in a move that will cut 3,000 to 4,000 jobs, mostly out­side the United States.

A Mi­crosoft spokesman con­firmed that “roles will be elim­i­nated” and that most of them will be abroad, but de­clined to put a pre­cise num­ber on the cuts.

The ex­act num­ber of jobs that will be trimmed is un­cer­tain partly be­cause in some coun­tries, es­pe­cially in Europe, la­bor laws re­quire ne­go­ti­a­tions. But the global to­tal is likely to be in the range of 3,000 to 4,000, said a per­son fa­mil­iar with the com­pany’s plans who was not au­tho­rized to speak on the record about them.

Mi­crosoft work­ers were no­ti­fied Thurs­day if their cur­rent job was af­fected. Some of the work­ers will get other jobs within Mi­crosoft. “This is be­ing done mainly to evolve the skill sets we need,” said Frank Shaw, a spokesman for the com­pany.

The job cuts come after Mi­crosoft last week de­scribed a re­align­ment of its sales and mar­ket­ing arm, which em­ploys about 50,000 people world­wide.

In an in­ter­nal email last week, Jud­son Althoff, a Mi­crosoft ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent, de­scribed the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion and its ra­tio­nale. He wrote that there was “an enor­mous $4.5 tril­lion mar­ket op­por­tu­nity” for Mi­crosoft in the com­ing years.

The sales and mar­ket­ing changes, Althoff wrote, were in­tended to “en­able us to align the right re­sources for the right cus­tomer at the right time.” Key ar­eas of op­por­tu­nity, he said, in­cluded ex­pand­ing its cloud of­fer­ings in data analysis and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, and help­ing com­pa­nies in ev­ery in­dus­try to be­come dig­i­tal busi­nesses, us­ing Mi­crosoft tools.

The Mi­crosoft email last week said the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion was in­tended to sharpen its fo­cus on “six pri­or­ity in­dus­tries”: man­u­fac­tur­ing, fi­nan­cial ser­vices, re­tail, health, ed­u­ca­tion and govern­ment.

Sales and mar­ket­ing jobs in the fu­ture will of­ten re­quire more tech­ni­cal and in­dus­try-spe­cific knowl­edge than be­fore, Shaw said. The re­or­ga­ni­za­tion and job cuts, he added, were an ef­fort to match the com­pany’s skills with the chang­ing mar­ket­place.

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