Microsoft Reportedly on the Cusp of Sweeping Job Cuts

by Matt Klassen on July 16, 2014

Known less as a sleek and efficient operation on the cutting edge of technology and more as a lumbering and slothful relic of a bygone PC age, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella knows that much needs to be done in order to get his firm back into competitive shape, able to once again make a difference in a technology market that has all but passed the company by, and from what we know of Nadella so far, such changes will be both fast and sweeping.

To that end, Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Microsoft is, in fact, preparing for might become the largest job cuts in the company’s history as the software giant attempts to integrate Nokia’s recently acquired Oyj handset unit into its business operations. While Microsoft has initiated smaller job cuts focused on particular divisions in the past—cutting a few marketing positions back in 2012 for instance—the company has undergone significant restructuring only once before, back in 2009, with rumours that this latest round of layoffs may actually exceed what we saw five years ago.

The job cuts, expected to be announced later this week, will likely impact areas of redundancy, as well as in Nokia’s engineering and marketing divisions, all in an effort to trim down a once sluggish company into a fierce fighting machine…or if not fierce, at least somewhat relevant.

As Bloomberg reports, the restructuring process may actually be the largest in Microsoft’s history, surpassing even the 5,800 job cuts the company underwent in 2009. But as we wait for the details to be worked out, the reality is that such cuts were not only necessary, but fairly obvious as well, as there was simply no way Microsoft could integrate the 25,000 employees that came over in the Nokia deal, particularly when a few billion dollars could be saved by eliminating the redundancies.

Nadella, who assumed the CEO position in February of this year, has been quick to put his stamp on the company, saying in a recent interview that he intends to change Microsoft’s culture as the company would have to become more focused and efficient to compete in today’s technology market. Not one to mince words, Nadella laid out his plan last week in an extended internal brief, articulating his first mission statement for the company that called for a greater focus on mobile devices, cloud-computing, and productivity software as consumers and enterprise alike are turning away from the personal computer for their daily computing needs.

“Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture,” Nadella said in an interview.

While it likely comes as cold comfort to those poised to receive pink slips later this week, there were many who saw these radical sweeping changes on the horizon, with analysts already predicting deep cuts would be necessary to assuage shareholder discontent and trim the company’s bloated and redundant staffing.

All of that to say that this isn’t your father’s Microsoft anymore, as its clear Nadella is doing what is necessary to enact his new vision for the firm in today’s technology market. Whether or not that new vision has anymore success than the old one…well that remains to be seen.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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