Microsoft to eliminate up to 18,000 jobs

For perspective, Microsoft has 125,000 employees and just brought 25,000 new employees on from Nokia.

The largest layoff in Microsoft history previous to this? 5,800 people were laid off in 2009.

Though this is tough to see, you knew this day was coming the minute the Nokia deal was signed.

  • Laying off people means laying off knowledge and enthusiasm. Laying off is good for the shareholders, but bad for the reputation.

    • SockRolid

      But it’s the only way to tell your (remaining) employees that you’re serious about changing. Of course, whether or not you’re changing for the better is something that only time will tell. And time is not on Microsoft’s side.

    • JohnDoey

      This is not a shareholder-driven layoff. They are not shaving one person off every 8 person team to increase profitability slightly — they are getting rid of whole teams that work on Microsoft’s many unprofitable products.

      For example, right now Microsoft might have more cell phone engineers than Apple. But Microsoft’s phone sales are a tiny percentage of Apple’s phone sales. The people who are being let go literally have nothing to do.

  • Moeskido

    Yes, Wall Street’s happy. And Finland joins Canada at the sad table.

    The article didn’t make clear to me whether Nadella’s layoffs would directly address Ballmer’s “many layers of management.” I think that’s a potentially bigger drain on a company’s capabilities than the rank-and-file.

    • JohnDoey

      To be fair, Nokia and Blackberry are getting what they deserved. I’m very sorry for their employees and I’m very sorry to see the Nokia and Blackberry brands die, but they committed suicide long before Microsoft bought some bones.

      Nokia and Blackberry laughed off the iPhone in 2007 and did not make a meaningful response to it for over 5 years, and then those responses were terrible. That is after the iPhone was rumored for at least 2 years before it shipped. And before that, they laughed off the iPod in 2001 and never responded to it. And before that, they laughed off Apple’s tiny wireless notebooks with 5+ hour battery life in 1998 and never responded to them. What did Nokia and Blackberry think people would be carrying in their pockets in 2020? A pager with texting and voice calls?

      Apple released the Newton in 1993, and it is the grandfather of all smartphones and PDA’s. The mobile ARM chip that smartphones and PDA’s use was created by Apple and ARM for the Newton. That ARM chip was also used in iPods. Apple canceled Newton in 1998 as part of its restructuring. Did Nokia and Blackberry really think Apple was never going to get back into PDA/smartphones? And when Apple did get back in, almost 10 years later in 2007, the Nokia and Blackberry devices they met in the market were not even as advanced as the 1998 Newton. They did not even have the iPod features from 2001. They did not have the operating system sophistication of the 1998 NeXT system.

      • Moeskido

        Yes, I’m aware of the history, and of the arrogance that Nokia and Blackberry exhibited.

        And I’m still curious to know whether Nadella plans to trim his management structure to a significant degree, or whether he lives within the same MBA-infested bubble his predecessor did.

  • SockRolid

    ” … you knew this day was coming the minute the Nokia deal was signed.”

    And Nadella’s bizarre corporate-speak memo was confirmation of a massive layoff. Any time any CEO issues a corporate-wide memo with too many uses of the word “synergy” and sentences like the following, it’s a clear signal of impending layoffs:

    “And if you want to thrive at Microsoft and make a world impact, you and your team must add numerous more changes to this list that you will be enthusiastic about driving.”

    That’s about the closest any CEO will get to typing the words “Change your ways or get lost.”

  • JohnDoey

    I knew this day was coming the minute I saw the utter crapulence of the Surface hardware.

  • lucascott

    As I understand it the bulk of the laid off staff is from the Nokia side of things. Redundant lower level staff and such.