Nadella dodges questions about future Microsoft layoffs in new interviews

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella conducted a series of short interviews with several media outlets Thursday, but would not answer questions about possible future layoffs at the company in the wake of its acquisition of Nokia's smartphone division.

The interviews were conducted by phone a few hours after Microsoft released an email from Nadella that was sent to all of the company's employees Thursday morning. Nadella used the 3,105 word email to talk about his "mobile first-cloud first" vision for Microsoft but hinted that major organizational changes are in the works at the company as well.

Usually, "organizational changes" are code words for "layoffs" but during his interviews on Thursday, Nadella dodged those questions when asked by the media. When The Wall Street Journal asked Nadella if Microsoft will have fewer employees by the end of 2014 that it currently does, he replied, "I'm not going to go there today."

Microsoft added about 25,000 new employees when it acquired Nokia's Devices and Services division in late April, and many analysts have predicted that situation will force Microsoft into making cuts in its workforce soon. Nadella has already said that more information about Microsoft's future will be revealed on July 22, when the company issues its latest quarterly financial results.

In a chat with The Verge, Nadella spoke specifically on Windows Phone and how the company knows it needs to do better to increase its market share. He stated:

We're going to change it by producing phones — where we grow in countries where we've grown from 3 to 10 percent, celebrate that. And then have higher ambition. There are many countries, even in Western Europe, where we have over 10 percent share, and I completely recognize that if you are not growing in the US, for you we are nothing, and I'm grounded in that reality. But at the same time, [we will] keep coming at it and keep coming at it, but have a core which you really are using to differentiate what your value proposition for the user is.

What do you think about Nadella's vision for Microsoft and do you think the company needs to make some changes, including laying off part of its workforce?

Source: Wall Street Journal; The Verge

John Callaham