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Microsoft moves to cut around 3,000 jobs as part of sales staff shake-up

Microsoft will cut upwards of 3,000 jobs as part of a shake-up of its sales staff. According to CNBC, most of the cuts, which total under 10 percent of Microsoft's sales staff, will occur outside of the U.S.

In a statement to CNBC, a Microsoft spokesperson said:

Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners. Today, we are taking steps to notify some employees that their jobs are under consideration or that their positions will be eliminated. Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time-to-time, re-deployment in others.

Reports first surfaced last week of Microsoft's intention to refocus its sales and marketing staff with an emphasis on its cloud services. Shortly after, rumors began to circulate that the company was prepared to cut potentially thousands of jobs, though the exact number remained in the dark until now.

On July 3, Microsoft first began informing employees of its reorganization plans, though memos circulated at the time made no mention of layoffs. Instead, Microsoft explained its plans to reorganize its sales efforts on two main areas: large enterprise customers and small and medium businesses. Though the memo didn't emphasize the cloud, reports suggest Microsoft is looking to bolster its sales efforts in the space in order to better combat Amazon and Google. Given the increasingly large part Microsoft's cloud services are playing in its growth recently, it's not hard to see why the company might want to place more focus there.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

56 Comments
  • Cutting marketing completely from the consumer market and focussing only on industry. Oh Microsoft, you make me so sad.
  • Marketing to consumers only makes sense if you have a good consumer product to back it up. They have great enterprise products, but they lack great consumer products. Marketing only gets you so far. The product needs to perform once it is brought home. This is where Microsoft struggles, not marketing. Marketing is the easy part.
  • I down voted you. Time for you to start complaining.
  • I counteracted you. OBJECTION!
  • Objection substained! Prosecution stop badgering the witness.
  • Down vote? I don't know anything about that. But really, Microsoft doesn't have any consumer products they really need to market. XBox, but it probably has its own team. Windows is Windows. People know about it and buy it if they need a computer and don't want a Mac. Marketing is kinda wasted there. What consumer product do they need to market?
  • Mice and keyboards 😛
  • lol
  • Over the past few days, during your usual trolling you have been whining about being downvoted, all the mean people who dare to hit that thumbs down. I downvoted you, and wanted you to know so you have another reason and a person to complain about.
  • I have never even said the words down vote before my comment above. You have me confused with someone else. The Android app doesn't show down votes. I am not trolling. Just because you don't like my opinion, doesn't make it trolling. I put together a solid argument in my favor. See below.
  • I was saying that to nohone btw...forgot to include that.
  • Carry on guys, I am enjoying it.
  • You're the obvious troll here. Quit projecting.
  • So you say Marketing is the easy part, eh? I guess Microsoft did not got the memo then.
    Their Surface line Of products is quite phenomenal, even for regular consumers and they sell tons of hardware from their partners in their own shop. So they definitely need a huge change in how they do marketing since like 2 decades ago.
  • What do you think is easier? Engineering the Surface or marketing it? If you ask me, marketing is the easy part, and if it is a great product, marketing is even easier. Marketing is only hard when you have a crappy product. I just don't think they need to market Surface heavily. They don't really want to encroach on OEMs and people already know about Windows and why they need it. I don't see marketing increasing the overall sales of Windows machines. They are a commodity, a well known value. People know if they need one or not. Who does Microsoft need to convince to buy a Windows machine?
  • I'm curious, which Microsoft customer products aren't that good?
  • The only consumer product they really have now is XBox. Any product that is no longer around certainly couldn't have been that good.
  • They had a few phones that were quite good when they were around, but marketing was so poor (at least in the US) that the masses often knew zero about the phone. People don't buy a product they don't know exists.
  • Marketing is just a scapegoat. The phones were never competitive.
  • You were waiting to get to your pet point based on nothing but your opinion.
  • Based on reality. All Microsoft's consumer products have failed except XBox. It is tough to make an argument that anything else consumer focused was successful.
  • Yeah, I can see how you would believe Surface has been a total flop by being profitable. And all those consumer keyboards, mice, etc. that they keep producing year after year after year. Think of the billions in losses over the decades in that department alone.
  • Windows isn't a consumer product. Some pro-sumers might buy it, but that doesn't change that Windows is primarily a business product now. It doesn't require consumer marketing. There aren't any serious competitors. You know if you need a Windows machine, there isn't anyone you need to convince otherwise. Mice and keyboards? Someone already made that joke.
  • No serious competitors in the consumer market... I present exhibit A: Microsoft Windows 8. Surely, Microsoft went through all that trouble because iOS and Android are totally irrelevant.
  • What? Windows 8 failed. That was Microsoft's attempt at staying relevant in the consumer market. They had to backtrack.
  • So you do admit Windows is as much a consumer OS as a business and enterprise OS.
  • No. It is primarily business software. They do have some consumer sales but even then it is people who want to get work done for school or what have you. If you need a Windows PC, you know it. Mac is even more niche and boutique and Chromebooks are grade school machines. Microsoft doesn't get much out of marketing Windows, they really don't have any competition and they don't compete in mobile. They are primarily enterprise and are moving more in that direction. Microsoft doesn't need a consumer marketing department outside Xbox.
  • Rubbish. Microsoft has as many consumer products as apple does. There is a family of xbox devices and a bigger family of surface devices, not to mention windows itself which is also consumer oriented
  • Windows is an enterprise product with some consumer overlap. It doesn't require marketing as it doesn't have much in the way of competitors and everyone who needs Windows know they need Windows. There isn't much of an option there. That consumer side is also fading because it isn't really a consumer product these days. Microsoft no longer has a mobile platform. That was going to be the consumer product, but it failed. Now they do not have a consumer platform outside Xbox and they have shown no dedication to one for the near future. Consumer marketing isn't crucial for them today.
  • Is it 'enterprise' because you can ALT+TAB the game quickly so your boss won't notice anything?
  • 😂😂😂
  • That is nice! Especially if they don't block installs from the Windows Store!
  • I think you underestimate how crucial the consumer market really is to Microsoft, despite any appearances otherwise. The latest financials are rather interesting.
  • I agree the consumer market is likely very important for Microsofts, but they don't seem to have any ambitions in the near future. This reorganization of the sales and marketing team towards enterprise and cloud affirms that. They do not seem dedicated to consumer markets at all.
  • $3000 tablets are not consumer devices.
  • No, a good marketing company could sell crap and they do. The sell phones that shatter the first time you drop them, (iPhone 4 glass back and front) and we are happy. They sell us war and we are happy, no honored to die. I can't help think of the iPhone ads with photos taken with their just ok camera. You try to take such photos. Marketing is bullshit. If you market to people who don't know better (which is 90% of people) then you're ok. You can sell them anything and they'll be glad.
  • Please, the iPhone single handedly changed the whole PC and phone market. To say that is totally due to marketing is naive at best. You cannot argue that the iPhone isn't a great product. A decade later if would not see the massive sales and repeat buyers otherwise. Marketing only gets you so far, you still need a great product at the end of the day.
  • For years the iPhone had the best camera. That has changed in recent years as high end Android phones have surpassed them. The cameras are fine though on most any modern phone.
  • Or, it could be that rather than they market directly to customers, the will rely upon external marketing firms to run their consumer facing marketing campaigns. Using companies that are focused upon marketing rather than trying to do it themselves. It is amazing how it used to be people would claim that Microsoft was purely a marketing company, and not focused on the products - Apple even made some Mac vs. PC commercials about it. Then people complained that Microsoft was purely marketing focused, that they would build their products around what marketing wanted rather than what the user wanted. Now the complaint is that there is not enough marketing, that need to pour more money and energy into their marketing efforts. Yet again, damned if you do ...
  • Please cite the source for your comment that Microsoft is "cutting marketing completely from the consumer market." No where does the information that the company has released make any such claim.
  • Sure. Why not?
  • Football players who are prone to fumble, usually get cut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • The only marketing that I've seen from Microsoft on TV is for their cloud services. Not really sure how big a marketing team that you would need for that one service. I wasn't even aware that Microsoft even had a marketing arm that big. What the Hell were they doing all these years???
  • I'm pretty sure their sales staff are tech people too. The person i talked to about cloud services pretty much helped me figure out the best approach and what would and wouldn't be possible with what i wanted to accomplish with azure. they were extremely dedicated and didn't just treat you like a number, even if you only represent a company of 4 people. i could talk to the same person every time i called, with very little problems in regards to scheduling that. if someone small like me can take up that much time of one of their sale's staff, i could see why they'd have a whole lot of them. and they're pretty knowledgeable. i could easily see them being a manager of some sort for some sort of IT team based on how well they were able to help me plan a transition to the cloud.
  • And just like last time, a week later their twitter account will post job openings and talk up joining the Microsoft "family" or some $#!+. 
  • and just like last time, we're talking about a company with a headcount of 121'000 people. So less than 2.5% of it's workforce affected and still more employees than before the nokia acquisition that has had 0 influence on their bottom line (income-wise). Even then 2.5% is a realistic amount of people to fire in a year no reason at all necessary.
  • Nope  3000 more positions going overseas.
  • I am sad for those losing their jobs that love working at Microsoft.  I'm sure severance will be adequate. I'm sure they'll find a good job somewhere else, too.  I hope these cuts are worth it.  It's never a good thing to have to do or want to do.
  • Congratulation you're fired!
  • More like "here's your pink slip.....no GTFO!"    Microsoft must be hell to work for inside.   Bet their environment is caustic right now....for the past while. 
  • This news is very partial, and I don't blame WindowsCentral, the message Microsoft is trying to transmit is very incomplete and that is not fault of journalist, is the bad communication department in Microsoft to publish these type of news. first it just talks about the 3000 job cuts, but it doesn't mention how much percentage of these job cuts are in the US or how much are in foreign countries. Second, 3000 people being laid off is a bad news, does anybody know what is the total workforce for sales in Microsoft? This # should be compared with total number of people working on sales in Microsoft to get an idea of understanding if this is because sales department is having a reingineering or because Microsoft is cancelling the consumer market.    
  • the total workforce right now I think is 10.  The 5 top guys and their secretaries.   All testing is done by the suckers....i mean insiders.   There's no marketing teeam,  no development team,  no sales team now,  whats left....few lackies working on xbox.  
  • This is what running a Farm feels like... All the diversified products and the investment gone. All the acquired knowledge of the Nokia purchase in the trash can. Now with the marketing team if they have no investment there is little to nothing they can do to make ms products known. Of what you want of ms is to make it a minor player and only a server system you are making it Nadella.
    That is why as a consumer feels like a real mess. Support is not even close to acceptable, software is half completed when in the market... All for to those layoffs...
  • People who say Nadella is great because he gets quarterly profits...ummm...this is how he does it .
  • Exactly.  Layoffs drive profits short term.  It all going to crumble down soon.
  • One of the disadvantages of being a part of this corporate world. Its always better to work for yourself. That way, no one can fire you and your valuable time will not be wasted.