Talking tech since 2003

Last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent out a companywide memo explaining how the company would refocus on mobile and cloud divisions – and “refocus” is a bit of corporate speak that can typically also mean “cutting jobs that don’t fit within that focus.” Unsurprisingly, reports have hit that point to a pretty big drop in employment at Microsoft that could come as early as this week.

According to a report on Bloomberg, the company’s expected to slash jobs within the recently acquired Nokia devices division, along with marketing and engineering. The news comes by way of unnamed sources who claim to have knowledge of Microsoft’s plans, who add that the cuts are planned to exceed the 5,800 positions that were eliminated in 2009, at the start of the recession in the US. If true, these new cuts will represent the largest layoffs in Microsoft history.

Another factor contributing to the forthcoming layoffs, the post points out, is the aforementioned Nokia acquisition. Nokia added 30,000 positions to Microsoft, and considering a number of those positions must already overlap with similar jobs at the parent company, it’s only natural that cuts would follow.

While it’s never a joyful occasion when people lose their jobs – especially this many at once – the end result will hopefully benefit Microsoft and its consumer offerings going forward. The company has been a behemoth for a long time, and as a result, it can’t react as nimbly to new competitors or possibilities as others might. Its massiveness has allowed it to survive for this long, and clearly it has adapted as technology has shifted and changed. But an attempt to refocus and eliminate bloat can only come with cuts like this. It’s a sad reality of business.

Moreover, let’s hope that Microsoft’s loss is other tech companies’ gain. There will likely be many qualified and experienced tech workers on the job market soon, so hopefully there are enough start-ups and tech firms ready and willing to give whoever loses their gigs a new position. We’ll offer updates of any developments we hear about…stay tuned.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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