Microsoft quietly cut under 1,000 jobs across its business this week, as it enters its new fiscal year

  • Microsoft this week held layoffs, in what a spokesperson characterized as a small number of job cuts across multiple business units.
  • The cuts come in at less than 1,000 jobs, according to a person familiar with the situation. 
  • Microsoft had about 156,000 employees as of the end of March, meaning that the cuts affected less than 0.64% of its global workforce.
  • Earlier this week, Microsoft is said to have cut several roles at MSN.com, its online news portal, as it shifted to an AI-powered algorithmic feed. Some jobs were also cut in the Microsoft Azure cloud division, one source later told Business Insider.
  • Are you a current or former Microsoft employee? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email ([email protected]).
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Microsoft cut a small number of jobs relative to the size of its workforce this week as it transitions to a new fiscal year, the company confirmed.

Microsoft has not issued a public statement on the layoffs, but a spokesperson said the cuts came across various teams and locations, without giving specifics. It's common, the spokesperson said, for Microsoft to re-evaluate its business as it enters a new fiscal year on July 1st. 

The most recent cuts affected less than 1,000 jobs, a person familiar with the situation said. The company had 156,439 employees as of March 31, including 92,335 in the US and 55,513 in the Seattle area, where it's headquartered. That means that the cuts affected approximately 0.64% or less of its total workforce.

Earlier this week, Microsoft is said to have laid off several workers at its MSN.com news portal as it shifts to an AI-powered algorithmic feed. Some jobs were also cut in the Microsoft Azure cloud division, one source later told Business Insider. Microsoft declined to comment on any cuts in the Azure division.

Microsoft typically makes changes around this time. Perhaps the most significant of these changes came in the July of 2017 when the company reorganized its entire sales organization to focus on cloud computing, and laid off thousands of employees.

This year, just prior to the end of Microsoft's fiscal year on June 30, Microsoft announced plans to close all of its physical retail locations and shut down its video game streaming service Mixer.

In Mixer's case, Microsoft last month told Business Insider the company is "committed to redeploying people and technology across our team wherever possible." In announcing the store closures, Microsoft said in a press release: "the retail team members will serve consumers, small-business, education, and enterprise customers, while building a pipeline of talent with transferable skills." 

Microsoft earlier this year also confirmed it froze hiring for some roles, except for in unspecific "strategic areas." The current status of the hiring freeze is unclear.

"We continue to seek industry-leading talent in a range of disciplines as we continue to invest in certain strategic areas," a Microsoft spokesperson told Business Insider in April. "However, in light of the uncertainties presented by COVID-19, we are temporarily pausing recruitment for other roles."

Got a tip? Contact Ashley Stewart via email at [email protected], message her on Twitter @ashannstew, or send her a secure message through Signal at 425-344-8242.

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