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Microsoft Layoffs Confirmed Across Its Divisions: Report

Microsoft would not disclose the number of its job cuts or what kinds of positions were eliminated, or where the affected employees had been located, according to Reuters.

Microsoft has confirmed job cuts across its teams and geographies, with a spokesperson for the technology giant saying it’s common for the company to re-evaluate its business as it begins a new fiscal year, according to a Reuters report.

Microsoft would not disclose the number of its job cuts or what kinds of positions were eliminated, or where the affected employees had been located, Reuters said. Business Insider has earlier reported that the Microsoft layoffs hit under 1,000 jobs, including some at its online news site and its Microsoft Azure cloud division.

A spokesperson for the Redmond, Wash.-based technology giant, which started its 2021 fiscal year on July 1, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Microsoft had 156,439 employees – including 92,335 in the United States, of which 55,513 were in the Puget Sound area of its home state – as of March 31, according to its website. Just over 46 percent of its total positions are engineering roles.

The Associated Press this week reported that Microsoft cut “dozens” of full-time positions from its MSN news service as part of its move to use artificial intelligence to to handle content on its site in lieu of human editors. Microsoft had six weeks earlier informed 50 news production contractors that their jobs would end by June 30, the AP report said.

In late June, Microsoft said it was shuttering all 83 of its brick-and-mortar stores – which had been closed since late March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – as part of a “strategic change” to its retail operations. It said the move would result in a pre-tax charge of approximately $450 million. The decision came almost 11 years after the first Microsoft retail store opened in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2009 -- on the same day that it launched Windows 7 -- to better compete against Apple and its popular retail stores. The bulk of Microsoft’s retail store locations were in the United States, with nine in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Microsoft’s hardware and software sales have continued to shift online as its product portfolio has evolved to digital products including Microsoft 365, gaming and entertainment, Microsoft Store corporate vice president David Porter said in a statement at the time.

Microsoft on Wednesday will announce its fourth-quarter, fiscal 2020 earnings for the three-month period that ended June 30.

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