Microsoft informs employees of sales and marketing team shake-up

Microsoft has reportedly informed employees of an upcoming reorganization of its sales and marketing teams. According to Reuters, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela, along with Executive Vice Presidents Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois sent memos to their teams detailing the restructuring.

Word of an upcoming reorganization first broke late last week, when Bloomberg reported Microsoft was considering a sales shake-up to further focus on its cloud business following the close of the company's fiscal year on June 30. At the time, it was expected that Microsoft would announce the move as soon as this week. According to today's report, the memo focuses on "describing how the structure redesign will work." It's not clear from the report if the memo elaborates on the expected increased cloud focus.

A recent TechCrunch report claimed that Microsoft's impending reorganization efforts would include layoffs for "thousands of employees worldwide." However, today's memo reportedly doesn't include any mentions of layoffs. It's likely we'll hear more concerning the shake-up as the week wears on.

Updated July 3, 2017: The Wall Street Journal reports that the reorganization will see Microsoft refocus its sales efforts on two main areas, stating:

The company will target its sales efforts in two areas: large enterprise customers and small and medium businesses, according to an email sent to employees by Judson Althoff, executive vice president who works with partners to spread the adoption of Microsoft technology. Previously, Microsoft focused on commercial segments, such as the public sector, startups and specific industries.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

71 Comments
  • Working for a company like this will SUCK big time.
  • Nadella survived the cuts? :( He should have been the first one to hit the door.
  • Lol amen
  • Nadella took over as CEO in Feb 2014.  SInce then MSFT stock has gone from ~$41 to > $68.  So no he will not be first one to hit the door!  I am sure the board loves him for this performance and so do the share holders.  He has made some bold moves and the windows central community is probably looking for another bold move from him with a category redefining mobile device
  • Marissa Mayer took over at Yahoo in Jul 2012, and in 3 years had the stock over 4 times what it was when she took over. However, it was because of one item going crazy (Alibaba holdings) and not an indicator of the over company health (which was losing in the consumer market). Now, Yahoo is gone from the earth... poof.
    ---
    Nadella is riding one item too, the cloud bubble wave. The rest of his company is in severe retrenchment, and losing the hearts of consumers. They are a distant #2 on consoles, they've lost mobile, they've lost wearables, they are losing home automation, they are losing on IOT. All it would take is one or two quarters of leveling off on the completely unsustainable (doubling every year) cloud growth numbers, and the veil will be lifted from your eyes.
  • Distant? #2 on consoles?? Loosing in IoT???? What??? That's one.... Two, I extremely assure you. Office 365 and Azure is noooo Alibaba.
  • And it's catching AWS!
  • Distant? #2 on consoles?? - That is a bit harsh, but definitive second. Loosing in IoT???? - Yes, affirmative, that is a positive. Heard of many IoT's running on windows outside MS presentations? That is mainly android or other Linux territory. Heard of many people who want to set up and control their IoTs on their desktop? Mostly is using phones or home automation hubs, that is a win for Amazon, Apple and Google as no one heard yet about a Microsoft phone or Homehub outside Jason Wards fantasy novels. I agree with you that Office 365 and Azure is no Alibaba but that mean not that Microsoft will succeed in the area and I think what the OP meant that it is dangerous to put all the eggs in one basket when that basket are in unknown territory well outside earlier areas off expertise.
  • Wrong analogy with Yahoo. They had nothing to offer that's others didn't. MS is leader in cloud and desktop software, huge difference. You are right about Alibaba and Yahoo, but this analogy doesn't apply to MS. The company is healthy. They need better mobile play, but we all know that.
  • Maybe the door hit him in the butt.
  • totally agree
  • Unfortunately, most corporations operate in the same ways. It's all about that ROI. Gotta have that share growth, or none of it matters. Not defending by any means, but that is the corporate world we have allowed to be created. So, really, it's on us...
  • night night MS
  • They have a sales and marketing division?
  • Last thing I remember from them was the original Surface commercials during their initial release. I think that they hired an outside firm to do it though. There was the Windows phone "Really??!" commercial that was damn funny though, but that too was from years ago.
  • Have you somehow missed all the Surface announcement videos?
  • Yep. In my part of the world MS is completely invisible marketing and sales wise. I don't recall seeing any advertising / commercial for MS products for a long time. The last adds actually were for Nokia phones, when they were still making a half hearted effort on mobile. Average consumers this part of the world have no idea there is a Surface line from MS, since they never advertised or marketed Surface.
  • Well Marketing does more than advertising. They do all their product announcement adverts using their in-house marketing team, and they do an amazing job. It's just getting the advertising out there that they seem to fall over at. These amazing ads barely go past their YouTube channel.
  • I've seen them but I'm talking about a massive television blitz like when Surface first came out. It was good commercial, dancers and everything. They played the edited version so often I actually got tired of watching it even though I thought the product was great (still do). But now, you literally have to be a steadfast fan and seek out Microsoft's "good stuff." Everyone can still remember the "Mac vs. PC" commercials though.
  • Yeah, and apparently it contains thousands of employees! Wonder what they are doing all day? Can't remember the last time I saw a MS commercial or ad other than on MSN.
  • This will be the enterprise teams, they don't sell cloud to consumers! Every large organisation has to reorganise. It's a fact of doing business when you are at that level. Business models change so the suppliers need to change to adapt to these models - in this case, some of their own doing. Cloud is a success story, therefore it makes sense to shape the business around it and maximise the potential of the opportunities. In 2-3 years time, the market will change again and guess what, they will re-organise. The only constant in any enterprise is change.
  • I did see on Comcast Cable ads for Microsoft Cloud in June...
  • People like this comment, but down vote any snipe at the man actually responsible, the CEO, Nadella.
  • ^...hee hee
  • Did they say "shake up" or shake down?
  • This should have been done 8 years ago.  their Marketing sucks!
  • When I first read the artcile's headline I got a bit excited, until I read the words "layoffs" and "cloud focus". This basically means that they intend to become even less visible to consumers. Honestly, I didn't think that was possible at this point.
  • Not really, Microsoft still sells Surface products, Xbox products, Miracast devices, wireless receivers, Holographic lenses, docks, Pens, Dial, mouse, keyboard so no Microsoft isn't avandoning the hardware business anytime soon
  • Just consumer hardware
  • Nadella always finds away to be even more irrelevant...
  • Marketing might be overdue for a shakeup.
  • This
  • This is good news to all except mobile consumers which are the majority of WindowsCentral 10 years ago the iPhone ruled our lives, but today in 2017, artificial intelligence is what is going to rule our lives in next 10 years
  • I agree, but on what platform does MS intend to run their AI? iOS? not likely. Android? Fat chance. Windows based PC's? Sure, but they are becoming less and less relevant by the day. Unless they start to adress this issue soon, there won't be a platform left for them to run their AI on. They'll end up becoming another IBM or Cisco, a service provider for enterprises, virtually unknown to the general public. Although there is nothing wrong with that in itself. It's a shame since MS has the potential to be so much greater than that, but for some reason they seem to be dead set on fading into obscurity.
  • Yes agreed with you, when they purchased Nokia I really thought they were becoming a consumer first company, like a second Apple in United States that could compete with smartphones on the consumer market, but looks they dropped the ball for Mobile phones. As PC's are becoming less relevant year after year I also agree, that's why I think Windows ARM could be the next big thing Microsoft builds. Stay tuned for more Microsoft hardware news!
  • What does ARM really bring? Possibly better battery life with inferior performance? Is that really going to be a big deal?
  • Efficiency is better with ARM so you can get both better performance while your battery is lasting longer.
  • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt67k3AEl1s
  • I read they are also cutting the mobile division in half. Fred got notified today that he was being let go. That leaves Carl to carry on.
  • lol, Fred got notified he lost his legs. 
  • I think their marketing deserves it for not performing.
  • Yup
  • Assuming the job cuts are real, a company doesn't cut that many jobs because it wants to change it's sales pitch. This sounds like a major change in where resources and development are allocated, and a major shift happening within Microsoft where there's less focus on selling consumer products and more focus on being the backbone for which industries are built (think Azure for now but A.I. in the future). That's not necessarily a bad thing, after all, where many people think Microsoft should be chasing Apple, they should really be chasing Amazon; a company that continues its slow creep into every aspect of our lives.
  • Makes sense for them to do this with the way they are going - I know many will assume it means a further move away from consumer products though and are going to be disappointed.
  • pink slip bandit.....at it again!  Down the rabbit hole further and further....or...down some spiraling aparatus.   Maybe my prediction is not so DUMB after all hey axeman
  • On the basis that Microsoft has some great products but lousy marketing this will probably be no great loss to them. Generally speaking they really cannot do worse. A slimmer team might even start by realising that keeping faith with consumers is a good idea.
  • MS is the definition of Corporate dysfunction. Appear to want to be IBM, but keep selling Xbox? Now MIGHT make a new mobile device and somehow think that they can do it WITHOUT consumer success. Umm, who will give up there iPhone to only have a business mobile device with AI bots in Skype? Because really I need my horoscope in Skype way more than an app for Chase Bank!! The reality is that folks want to do BOTH. The more MS goes enterprise the less relevant they are. And why does an enterprise company need MS stores. I never go in them any more, the staff are useless
  • Go luck with that Chase bank app today. Happy 4th!
  • MS should sell their consumer ideas to someone who wants to run them. balmer seemed more interested in the consumer side. Now even Apple wants to start own content shows. Like Ballmer. MS should break up, they have no ability to do both. So why do they work on a family hub?
  • Balmer was interested in the consumer side but he failed miserably. The products just aren't there and it will take too long to develop them. Nadella just doesn't have much choice at this point.
  • Microsofthas many bubbles and MASSIVE intelectual property rights, compared to the one trick pony of Apple they are extremely diverse. Apple has a great marketing team and had a leader who embodied thier 'why'. Both companies need leadership, lets see what MS do with mobile.
  • From my visit to my closest Microsoft Store, the one at Mall of America, this does not surprise me. There is very little choice of product to capture consumer attention. Two tables with nothing but Surface Pro. Another table with a few Dell laptops. Another table with a few other very similar tablet/laptop devices. The Xbox area had a few Xbox Ones, a wall of a poor selection of games and some Minecraft miniatures. The accessories corner had a small assortment of keyboards, mice, cases. One HP phone, one Android phone each for AT&T and Verizon, and an iPad to show off Microsoft apps. The place was dead, and the staff was 100% turnover since my last visit about four months ago. I will be surprised if the physical stores last another 12 months.
  • Few months ago, went into Walmart and looked at the prominent display of tablets consisting of mostly iPads and Androids and one Windows tablet. Now, the same display area still features the iPads and Androids but no Windows tablets.
  • I walked by the store in orlando when they had the "insider appreciation day" party.   Tumbleweeds blew by as we walked along.  it was EMPTY.
  • Shakeup?!? They should fire them all!
  • Fire all the whole marketing department only. That will give them lesson for being slack. Hopefully MS does the firing close to Christmas to make it sweeter. haha!
  • That would mean two people without jobs
  • I see comments about Nadella and MS marketing/sales... Nadella has done great job in terms of ROI. He removed redundant workforce, removed/retrenched divisions that are not profitable (WP, band, etc.). He is propelling company in services: Office, Azure, W10 (UWP). MS devices are also doing well: Xbox, Surface. MS needs a revolutionary mobile device, which he iterated several times. MS lost the mobile devices space (so, us fans should get over it, and move on. I use 950xl and still hope for surface phone, by the time 950xl dies). Regarding marketing, everyone here assuming, sales and marketing means ads-related or those that directly interact with consumers. MS has large sales and marketing teams that talk to its customers (corporations, schools, government office, etc.). These folks go around, spread/market enterprise services/products and try to grab big sales deals. These marketing folks provide inputs to management/engineering teams on what customers (again companies etc.) want. These inputs mainly influence what the end product would be. Their consumer sales/marketing might suck, but they are not the majority. Keep calm, MS will survive and flourish well, but it may not make the products/devices that you (and I) want... you know the W10 mobile.
  • So they will focus all their marketing and sales effort only on large enterprises and medium to small businesses. Nothing for the consumers sector. Well, that's a very sad news for the Windows fans community.
  • What does this mean for hardware, specifically a mobile device? There have been 2 write up's on Windows Central on Windows Central by Jason Ward and Jez Gordon where both have stated that any new "Surface phone" or "ultra mobile pc device" will fail if it isn't marketed aggressively on its arrival. When you consider how little marketing and PR work Microsoft done around the Lumia line its easy to see where Jason and Jez are coming from. Microsoft will need to throw an enormous publicity campaign behind a new mobile device.    
  • They just axed that part of marketing. Now the focus is enterprise only. Guess what that will do to the magic Surface wand from Jason's fantasy novel. Waporware turning to unicornware.
  • Yup, I didn't want to come right out and say it, but you've pretty much nailed what was going through my mind.......if Microsoft want to stand even half a chance in the mobile space they would need to actively ramp up thier sales & marketing teams.  The PR effort around a Surface Phone would need to be vast.  What Microsoft seem to be doing is the polar opposite of that. They're winding down the very teams that would be responsible for creating a mobile strategy.    
  • Mobile is DEAD,  has been for some time.  Don't let anyone or anthing fool you into thinking otherwise.  time to move on JCMG62.  The lumia is DEAD...they are not building more,  not selling anymore...that news is over a year old....
  • We dare to dream Steve ;)  But yeah, now that they're starting to get rid of any back room staff that would drive consumer adoption of a mobile platform it's pretty conclusive that they have absolutely zero ambition, desire, plan or concept of how to find a way into mobile. I don't think a lot of readers quite see the importance of these retrenchements and redundancies.  This is essentially Microaoft walking away from the marketing of any consumer facing products. On the strength of that it's safe to say there are no consumer products left or even in the pipeline for Microsoft to market. With the exception of Xbox, Microsoft have never looked more like an "enterprise only" business.  They've completely abandoned the consumer/fan/joe public space. They're the new IBM 
  • You are correct!   I am scared they are going to strip all the consumer features from windows 10.....and move towards an enterprise only desktop.   Leaving me with the awful choice of chrome book or Macbook.
  • And I don't think it's far fetched that at some point, Nadella's Microsoft may decide that the Xbox division doesn't fit well into their enterprise focus, and decide to spin it off or sell it to Samsung, LG, Lenovo or Huawei.
  • Actually reorganizing Microsoft Marketing is one of the best ideas I've heard from them in a while. They have always sucked at consumer marketing. They make some good products that don't sell at the level they should. If the hardware is good, then the problem has to be pricing and marketing.
  • Microsoft informs employees of sales and marketing team shakeup. Calls it "Microsoft reorganization and restructuring edition service pack 2 enterprise edition with Cortana for business and enterprise."
  • Seeing how the Massively Screwed-up dis-Functional Team (MSFT) behaves, I'm guessing they will be retrenching their marketing and sales teams to focus on the MSFT free apps that run on iOS and Andriod.  I'm predicting that when Chrome takes off, the Massively Screwed-up dis-Functional Team's new marketing and sales department will go into overdrive and push Office365 to those folks and will essentially kill off MSFT's Windows and Server team.  Sounds so stupid that I bet there is an over 50% chance that MSFT will do it!
  • I begrudgingly moved from my beloved Windows phone to Android last year, and like most, put the MS suite on the new phone. Now I'm even having endless problems with Outlook. I like many others (looking at forums) are having log in and sync issues, to a point where I'm thinking of abandoning MS products completely. I NEVER thought I'd say that. I've been MS to the core for 25 years. I'm in the second week of 'help' from MS and its like torture. If they don't sort it this week I think I'm going to have no choice but to go elsewhere. I'll cancel 365 at the same time. On paper, the functionally is the best, but increasingly, I'm finding more and more issue.
  • Office 365 is available on chrome now.  Via web apps.  Been using them already.