Microsoft layoffs slash into European Xbox division

Microsoft layoffs slash into European Xbox division

The massive Microsoft layoffs announced yesterday are cutting deep across the company, with the latest word of hits coming at Xbox EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Asia). While 2/3 of the cuts are hitting job redundancies with Microsoft Mobile division (formerly Nokia), substantial layoffs are expected across the organization. According to MCV, Xbox EMEA could see up to 75% of its staff cut, and the staff will have to duke it out for the remaining 25%.

Xbox UK is apparently not being hit as hard, with a 10% cut in head count coming, though all contractor have reportedly been axed.

Microsoft said that the cuts won't impact the impending launch of the Xbox One in 13 more European countries this September, and that they remain committed to said market:

"We remain very committed to the market and will continue to support our local development teams. We believe that the UK has exceptional games industry talent and we'll continue to focus on game creation in the through Microsoft Studios like Rare, Lionhead Studios, Lift London and Soho Productions. Also, Europe continues to be an important market for Xbox, and we're excited to launch Xbox One to fans in 13 mainland European markets in September."

What do you see coming of these cuts?

Source: MCV


Reader comments

Microsoft layoffs slash into European Xbox division


"Xbox EMEA could see up to 75% of its staff cut" <-- Because that's a huge hit to one department! Nearly decimated. Holy soccer balls.

They are transparent, they will tell their shareholders exactly what their plans are.

If you read the Internet, you will also know what the product plans are.

You have an overblown sense of entitlement. You aren't supposed to know or care how MS dispatches its dutires or operations, just use or purchase product if you like them. 

Stop dreaming you have any right to see what a company does internally, you don't.

Restructuring, how many times do you have to read it to understand. RESTRUCTURING. Meaning, cleaning house to get new blood and keep some others that are going to move the company forward. It happens with companies that hire a new captain. I been the victim of such lay off.

Giving up on markets they have traditionally been weaker in. Oh they will of course still sell there, but I'm guessing the support etc. will be cut down as will MS's expectations of the market.

Guess they were trimming fat off the main organisation, makes sense. Especially with their marketing departments..

Very sad, but a ship this big needs to get slim to be more maneuverable in this changing landscape.

Their commitment to European Xbox owners is already tentative as it is. I hope this doesn't make them concentrate on the US even more, and that this is literally just cutting the fat.

I have to agree.... Quite surprised at how low key the product is in the UK. We used to have Tha Acey Bongos chap, and he used to have a website. Then it became just Major Nelson that had a site.

And the German spokesperson for Xbox ("Kugelblitz") was moved to a different division within MS Germany years ago.


I really wonder however why they let "Major Nelson" still do his thing. Isn't he way too old to be the face of a console?

Nadella wants a new Microsoft a new beginning not with the old one. He's shuffling many things. Big restructing I taking place. This may benefit Microsoft in the long run like after 5-10 years

Great. Just another 15 years and we might get a chance of using Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Kinect voice control in Central Europe.

Calm down u nerds :) Microsoft already has the xbox team in shape a few months ago. Cutting a few here and there is nothing Serious if it comes to games, new visions and plans, beside those who need new jobs. The NOOOO!!! drama is not needed.

It might be a few in actual numbers. Lets say its 4 people, 3 from 4 = 3 people :/

Unless we know the actual numbers and what those people did its very hard to assess the impact. It won't stop nerds filling up threads with b*ll*x as I have just done :)


Yeah the official Memo and mails are already out 2 days ago, Stating the movement for Team Xbox is already finished a few months ago. And that's Important for lots of people to know. Specially those who play Xbox. At least enough to know.

No idea what happend to my other reply but, the cuts already had been made, the remaining 25% had to re-apply for their jobs. A clean up to get more efficient. The called Xbox teams that already had been shaped a while back is a mixture of everything that keeps Xbox running for new games, hardware, developers and so on, the whole KFC list :) they had to do this to start fresh and start some of the things Microsoft has planned for Xbox.

"had to re-apply for their jobs" ??? What a messed up corporate culture they have in Microsoft. I thought stack ranking is the worst they could have possibly had.

But, is this even legal to make you re-apply for a job you have if you want to keep it? Sounds weird to my German ears.

Those who had to re-apply for their jobs were pretty much secure of getting it back. If u want to restructure everything, that's the way to do it. It happens and not only at Microsoft ;) Good that major nelson and his squad and bongos are still in the game.

Trimming down 75% of their staff when Europe is a huge market... yet America doesn't get hit at all? Yeah, good for expansion Microsoft.

If you actually did your research, Washington is one of the bigger targets for the layoffs.  Also, because they had too much staff in Europe and in other local markets, it makes it difficult to make a move in those countries.  This allows them to have better control at their corp office to move faster in all international markets.

That's right. People have been always complaining about how Microsoft reacts so slow because it's huge company! It makes sense to Restructuring now.

Oh well, the European Microsoft divisions will be sooo happy. For years, they are bitching about US headquarter making all decisions, even on topics of which they have 0, null, clue. So this will get only worse for them. :(


Source (in German, if you're willing to invest an hour or so): http://www.kununu.com/de/all/de/it/microsoft-deutschland. On this site here people anonymously rate their employers.

And the cord cutting gets deeper with every lay off article, MS needs to change and unfortunately old habits die hard.. so I guess these tough cuts have been deemed essential by the higher ups. Waiting to see how fast MS moves after all the transition and merge of teams / departments does.

Sad for those who have been laid off though...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure 75% of the Xbox team in Europe, Middle East, and Africa weren't designing avatars.

Lets face the facts Nadella has no love for the consumer device market and he hates being in the consumer hardware business. How much longer will we pretend like he is really committed to Microsoft devices? He essentially said the company is not about "devices & services" anymore in his most recent memo.


As things continue down this path it's increasingly hard for me to imagine long term what place if any there will be for Microsoft software in my life. I've used Microsoft solely as a consumer. If they are only truly focused and dedicated to the productivity market and enterprise then I can't see myself making use of what they have to offer. Lumia and Xbox have become the red-headed step childs of the Microsoft organization. While Ballmer wanted to elevate devices like Xbox/Lumia/Kinect/PerceptivePixel to equal 50/50 importance within Microsoft, clearly Nadella and his wall street task masters from ValueAct (who are now calling the shots) don't want Microsoft involved in consumer hardware or consumer services.  

This is what I'm getting out of this too, that Nadella's vision of Microsoft is not to be in the consumer business, even Xbox.

He probably can't jettison it completely without them losing tons of money and customers immediately, but I wouldnt doubt if his long term goal is to spin the consumer devices (Xbox, Surface, Windows Phone) off into a separate company, and eventually sell it off to OEMs.

I like Major, but I am surprised they don't have more of a presence on stuff. Much of the stuff that Major does is US centric, for obvious reasons. I think the focus is too narrow.