Microsoft Reportedly Laying Off More Employees, Partners Expecting SMS&P Reorganization

Microsoft is preparing to lay off more employees as part of the 18,000 job cuts it revealed in July, and could inform those affected on Thursday, according to a report from ZDnet.

Microsoft partners told CRN they're expecting some of the cuts to affect Microsoft's worldwide Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMS&P) division, which has seen more than its fair share of turnover in the past year.

Several partners told CRN their SMS&P contacts have either moved on to other positions at Microsoft or left for jobs at other companies.

[Related: Microsoft Reportedly Planning Thousands Of Job Cuts In Major Reorganization]

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Microsoft is looking to streamline SMS&P because, over time, some of the functions that the SMB-focused group performs have begun to overlap with those of the Enterprise Partner Group (EPG), partners said.

Microsoft's retail stores and Best Buy locations are generating sales to small and medium businesses that are under the purview of SMS&P, sources said.

"This is the market that Microsoft is targeting to move aggressively to the cloud, which would reduce the need to have the current -- or historic -- sourcing support model," said one Microsoft partner, who requested anonymity. "They have a retail presence for simple purchase support, and will deliver services via VARs."

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on the layoffs or the prospect of an SMS&P reorganization.

Microsoft laid off 13,000 employees in July, and the majority of the cuts were employees who joined the software giant in its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia. Other layoffs came from the Operating Systems group and a wide range of other company divisions, ZDnet reported at the time.

The coming wave of layoffs is expected to affect a similarly broad range of employees, including Nokia staffers that weren't let go in July, according to ZDnet.

Microsoft shook up its SMS&P leadership last August when Geoff Nyheim, Microsoft's vice president of worldwide Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMS&P) corporate accounts and partner sales, departed after 22 years at the company.

Microsoft eliminated some 5,800 jobs in research and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal, human resources and IT operations in 2009 as part of a $1.5 billion cost-cutting move. Then-CEO Steve Ballmer characterized the move as a response to a "once-in-a-lifetime set of economic conditions."

Meanwhile, Microsoft also revealed a reshuffling of its board of directors Tuesday. Kraft Foods CFO Teri List-Stoll and Visa CEO Charles Scharf will be joining Microsoft's board effective Oct. 1.

David Marquardt, general partner at August Capital and a Microsoft board member since 1981, and Dina Dublon, former CFO of JPMorgan Chase, will be vacating their board seats at that time.