Microsoft axing global advertising sales team, aiming to focus on larger partnerships

Microsoft has apparently laid off its global advertising sales team. The layoffs come from within the Microsoft Advertising division and impacts staff across in offices in the US, UK and and elsewhere. Earlier this week we learned that Microsoft had initiated their third wave of company wide layoffs, a continuation of job cuts started earlier this year.

Microsoft lays off even more employees as part of its ongoing job cuts

Microsoft has initiated a third wave of layoffs at the company, which reportedly will affect about 3,000 of its employees. The job cuts are part of Microsoft's previously announced plans to lay off a total of about 18,000 team members worldwide by the end of June 2015.

Nokia's final mass staffing changes to affect another 1100 employees

As part of their 2012 initiative cut costs and realign certain business functions, Nokia announced it will begin outsourcing certain IT responsibilities to HCL Technologies and TATA Consultancy Services.

This decision could affect about 1100 current Nokia employees, including 300 layoffs and up to 820 employees getting transferred to the aforementioned consulting firms. All changes are expected to occur solely within their workforce in Finland.

Nokia plans to reduce up to 10,000 positions globally by the end of 2013

Although the Scalado news is inspiring, Nokia is still in the rough as it plans to layoff nearly 10,000 workers by the end of 2013 in a continued restructuring of the company.

In addition, the Finnish firm is planning to close its facilities in Ulm, Germany, Burnaby, Canada and its manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland (Research and Development efforts in Salo will remain) while focusing on their Lumia line of phones including "broadening the price range of Lumia and continuing to differentiate with the Windows Phone platform". Part of the cost savings move has also been the successful divestment of the Vertu luxury line of Nokia phones to EQT VI for a rumored 200 million euros ($260 million).

Finally there are leadership changes as well including the promotion of former Microsoft executive Chris Weber from President of Nokia Inc. (US), and head of Markets, North America to executive vice president of Sales and Marketing, where he will join the leadership team of Nokia. The other changes in Nokia's leadership team can be found here.

So what does all of this amount to? There is a lot going on at Nokia including a dramatic reshaping of the company under CEO Stephen Elop driven mostly by market demands and the recent realignment of the company around Windows Phone. Analysts and equity firms have been downgrading Nokia stock for weeks now and this is their response which equates to massive cutbacks both in terms of people and facilities, potentially saving the company a lot of money during these tight times.

Nokia has previously lost 24% of its market share losing out to Samsung for top manufacturer. With the continued stampede of iPhone and Android, Nokia will be relying on Windows Phone 8 and its increasingly popular Lumia line to save it from financial despair. 

Nokia stock is currently trading at $2.79 a share which is near it's 52 week low of $2.61. It will be curious to see how the market responds to these proposed cutbacks and restructuring.

Source: Nokia

Sprint to Lay Off 8000

Not to be outdone by Microsoft in tossing out bad news while they're hoping the rest of the country is still busy wondering just what smartphone the president of the United States is using, Sprint just dropped this press release about how they're going to save $1.2 Billion (with a B) in labor costs.  That's one way to write a press release headline, another way is to not hide the sad truth: They are going to lay off 8000 workers by March 31st.  The layoffs will come at all levels and in all areas, so basically nobody's safe (though we guess CEO Dan Hesse will stick around a little while longer).  We wish these folks the best of luck finding new work.

Sprint also cops to the fact that of the big 4 in the US, they're the only carrier to have lost net subscribers quarter after quarter, but they do point out that they're happy about the Palm Pre and how it may save their bacon.  We're impressed with the Pre to, Spint, but you're going to have to do a little better than that.  You've dropped subscribers, the physical infrastructure behind your network (which you now lease), and now a bootload of employees.  There's getting down to your fighting weight and then there's wasting away, we're starting to worry (again) that we're looking at the latter.


Motorola reportedly ditching Windows Mobile, going all-Android

It's been no great secret the past year or so that Motorola is struggling, and that's putting it nicely. Now comes word from Phonescoop that the manufacturer is canning half of its handset division as soon as this week.

And, according to Phonescoop's anonymous source, Moto won't be at the CTIA show in April, and will significantly cut back the number of phones it launches.

Now the kicker: The only smartphones it will produce will be Android-based. As in, no more Windows Mobile. Does that mean the leaked concept shots we saw late last year will all run Android? Maybe. But the time it takes to develop phones leads us to bet against that. More likely, we'll see a few more Windows Mobile phones from Moto before the switch to the Big A.