Today, somewhat unexpectedly, Microsoft conducted a small round of layoffs impacting its corporate offices as well as regions around the globe.
While I don’t know the exact distribution of the cuts, based on evidence sent to me, it looks like the WDG (Windows and Devices Group) was impacted at a higher rate than other orgs inside Microsoft. That being said, individual staff were cut from several different product groups including Bing, some of the tooling teams, and a few other operational areas as well.
When I reached out to Microsoft about the layoffs, they confirmed that the cuts did occur today but did not provide any additional information.
As for the size of the cuts, while I don’t know the exact figure, think in the hundreds, not in the thousands. Considering the company has over 100,000 employees, this is a minor cut when compared to the thousands who have been let go in previous rounds.
Over the years, Microsoft’s ranks have continued to swell and from time to time, they do need to scale back their operations. Headcount reduction at a company that has over 100,000 employees isn’t that uncommon, especially as business plans change and markets shift. But with any cuts, this will have a deep impact on the individual as well as morale at the company.
Even though Microsoft has had several rounds of cuts the past few years, I don’t believe that this a larger trend for the future of the company. Microsoft has successfully shifted to a cloud-first world for its corporate customers and its operational alignment with that strategy is constantly evolving.