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After a week of ongoing reports, Microsoft confirms its restructuring plans. As reported earlier, the moves are anticipated to impact thousands as the company is reorganizing its sales team. The headcount numbers are at anywhere between “up to 3,000” to closer to 5,000. Apart from this, the CNBC reported that around three-quarters of the cuts will take place outside the U.S.

Microsoft is denying giving specific numbers right now; they only confirm it started with the process of informing employees today of job losses. Otherwise, the note provided to TechCrunch is a lukewarm confirmation of layoffs that will number in thousands as previously reported.

“Microsoft is employing changes to serve our customers and partners,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. “Today, we will notify some employees about their jobs being under consideration or they will be eliminated. Like all other companies, we also evaluate our business on a regular basis. This may result in some places as increased investment from time-to-time and re-deployment in others.”

The layoffs were anticipated to begin today, as a part of a reorganization that the remaining sales team will focus to its cloud service Azure. This new approach will target primarily the small and medium business clients, taking a move away from traditional focuses such as the government, oil and gas and pharma. The timing lines up with the fiscal year end of the company’s as it traditionally considers big changes to headcount.

A staff memo Althoff from EVP Judson last Monday is openly critical of the approach of the past sales of taking charge late last year of the business sales team and regarding the planned move to Azure sales.

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