Microsoft Layoffs Coming? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
12/29/2008
11:46 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Layoffs Coming?

Despite hiring at a rapid clip for the last few years, even Microsoft may not be immune to the rounds of layoffs hitting the technology industry recently.

Despite hiring at a rapid clip for the last few years, even Microsoft may not be immune to the rounds of layoffs hitting the technology industry recently.Though unsubstantiated, dozens of comments at Mini-Microsoft, a blog popular with Microsoft employees, point toward the possibility of big job cuts at the company. And now, at least one financial analyst has signed onto the idea. That would be quite the turnaround for a company that's grown its workforce by roughly a third since 2005.

Commenters at Mini-Microsoft write variously that "substantial" layoffs are due on Jan. 15 (a week before the most recent quarterly results will be announced), that there will be cuts in businesses like the server and tools group that has been one of the recent bright spots for Microsoft, and that already there are signs pointing toward cuts like hiring freezes in some product groups. To be fair, others disputed signs of impending doom.

Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Brad Reback wrote last week that Wall Street would welcome cutbacks, which would "be a healthy move" for Microsoft, though he predicted layoffs would only come if Microsoft sees a "significant decline" in revenue.

Layoffs would of course be hard on those directly affected, but to some Microsoft employees, especially adherents of Mini-Microsoft's ideas, might actually be OK with some cutbacks. The anonymous Mini-Microsoft blogger has been arguing since his site's inception that Microsoft needed to slow its hiring binge (which it has done in the last few months) and cut back growing tiers of bureaucracy.

I'm no financial analyst, and while layoffs might help a lumbering Microsoft turn itself around, thousands more out of work isn't something I'd be looking forward to, especially as unemployment ranks continue swelling and analysts circulate discussion cuts at even other healthy-seeming companies like Google. Even Mini says Microsoft cuts should have come long ago and been done "responsibly" rather than in some big purge.

For now, there's no major investor pressure on Microsoft to make cuts and no indication from Microsoft that head count will go down, but if others sign onto Reback's premise and top Microsoft ranks see dramatically shifting winds in the business, Microsoft may be pushed to join the dubious ranks of Sun, Nortel, and AT&T in cutting significant staff due to the economic downturn.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
Future IT Teams Will Include More Non-Traditional Members
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/1/2020
News
COVID-19: Using Data to Map Infections, Hospital Beds, and More
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/25/2020
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll