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In a sales and marketing overhaul, Microsoft to cut up to 4,000 jobs

Roles will be eliminated and most of them will be outside the US, says spokesperson

Steve Lohr | NYT 

Microsoft to cut up to 4,000 jobs
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photo: Reuters

is overhauling its big sales and marketing organisation in a move that will cut 3,000 to 4,000 jobs, mostly outside the United States.

A spokesperson confirmed that “roles will be eliminated” and that most of them will be abroad, but he declined to be specific. The precise number is uncertain partly because in some countries, especially in Europe, labour laws require negotiations. The possible total was described by a person familiar with Microsoft’s plans, who was not authorised to speak on the record about them.

workers were notified on Thursday if their current job was affected. Some of the workers will get other jobs within the software company.

“This is being done mainly to evolve the skill sets we need,” said Frank Shaw, a spokesperson.

Last week, described a sweeping realignment of its sales and marketing arm, which employs about 50,000 people worldwide. At the time, there were reports that “thousands” of jobs might be eliminated. CNBC reported on Thursday that “up to 3,000 jobs” would be cut as a result of the reorganisation.

In an internal email last week, Judson Althoff, a executive vice president, described the reorganisation and its rationale. He wrote that there was “an enormous $4.5-trillion market opportunity” for in the coming years.

The sales and marketing changes, Althoff wrote, were intended to “enable us to align the right resources for the right customer at the right time.” Key areas of opportunity, he said, included expanding its cloud offerings in data analysis and artificial intelligence, and helping in every industry to become digital businesses, using tools.

Microsoft’s global head count is 121,500, a number that has increased in the last few years.

The one major workforce cutback at came in 2014, when 18,000 jobs were eliminated.

That followed shortly after succeeded as chief executive. quickly determined that Microsoft’s $7.2-billion acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone business in 2014 was a failure and started selling off pieces and closing it down. Most of the jobs cut at the time were related to Nokia. A year later, took a $7.6 billion write-off.

is competing with Amazon, and other major technology companies, like and Oracle, in the fast-growing business of delivering software as a cloud service instead of as traditional software loaded onto computers.

Under Nadella, has made that transition to cloud software delivery, and its personal computer software business is no longer considered an engine of growth.
© 2017 The New York Times News Service

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