Microsoft has kicked off a large round of layoffs, affecting various departments
Xbox, technology, and government services are all impacted.
What you need to know
- Microsoft is reportedly making anywhere up to 1,000 redundancies, as part of a previously announced "restructuring."
- The layoffs affect Microsoft vets like Greg Chapman and KC Lemson, and cut across a broad swath of departments and orgs.
- A Microsoft spokesperson said, "we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly."
A little while ago, Microsoft signaled its intent to lay off "less than 1%" of its workforce in a filing with shareholders, and now it seems that those layoffs are officially taking place. A new report from Business Insider, corroborated by testimonies on Twitter, suggests that many departments have been affected, including the Xbox division and Microsoft's Strategic Missions and Technology team.
20-year Microsoft veteran KC Lemson (who also pioneered the much-loved Windows Insider Ninja Cat iconography) tweeted that she was part of the layoffs yesterday. Lemson worked within the office of the Chief Technical Officer, incubating projects.
Other redundancies hit the gaming org, the legal department, and the division setting up government bodies with Microsoft tech. Another 15-year vet, Greg Chapman, also tweeted that he'd been laid off. Chapman worked on the Azure team, making realistic 3D simulations for government organizations.
Business Insider grabbed a statement from Microsoft: "Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly. We will continue to invest in our business and hire in key growth areas in the year ahead."
Various tech companies are making or are expected to make layoffs in the face of current macroeconomic headwinds, owing to increased costs from inflation, disrupted supply chains stemming from China's Covid-19 policies, and Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine.
Microsoft has experienced some high-profile churn within its organization recently. Bonnie Ross, who led the 343i team developing the Halo franchise, famously left the company a few weeks ago following ongoing criticism of Halo Infinite. Microsoft also laid off its entire "modern life" team in August, dedicated to winning consumers back into the Windows ecosystem from competitors like Apple. Alex Kipman, who created Kinect and led development on Windows Mixed Reality, resigned following reports of inappropriate behavior, with a significant U.S. military contract for HoloLens reportedly on the rocks.
We'll update this article with further developments in the coming days.
If you've been affected by the layoffs and want to share your story, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @jezcorden on Twitter.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!