Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

Summary: A new round of Microsoft layoffs is, indeed, happening on July 7, as long-rumored and expected. Where are the cuts happening?

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A new round of Microsoft layoffs is, indeed, happening on July 7, as long-rumored and expected.

According to various comments I've seen -- all anonymous from those infamous "people knowledgeable about the situation" -- the latest round is going to be less gruesome and more broadly spread than last year's two waves of cuts that totaled more than 5,000 people.

I've been watching the growing stream of comments on the Mini Microsoft blog and gathering reports (direct and indirect) from individuals in the trenches today. It looks as if Microsoft's Central Marketing Group (CMG), Enterprise Partner Group (EPG), the SharePoint/Office team and the search/advertising teams all have made cuts. Most of the cuts I've heard about have been in the marketing/sales organizations.

(The usual caveat, re: Mini Microsoft: Given the anonymous comments, it's impossible to tell whether folks who are reporting in are real Microsoft employees or not. But based on other sources I've got -- not to mention the relatively high accuracy rate last year, in terms of Mini Microsoft comments regarding which teams/products/projects got cut -- , it sounds like the reports there are in line with what's actually happening.)

So far, there's no word on what the final tally is likely to be or whether there will be a follow-up Round 2 this year, like there was last year.

In a new blog post, published on July 6, Who Da'Punk (a k a Mini) shared more of the internal back-and-forth over Microsoft's recent decision to pull the plug on the Kin ("Pink") phones. So far, I haven't heard any talk that members of the Kin team were "kinned" today as part of the new round of cuts. Supposedly, Microsoft is moving many of the Kin developers to the Windows Phone 7 team.

Topics: Microsoft, CXO, IT Employment

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Marketing and Sales?

    It makes sense, people just buy MS stuff, so not much need there, and marketing?

    Who would have guessed that MS had a marketing dept? I never really saw them marketing things.
    John Zern
    • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

      @John Zern: If people just bought MS stuff, as you put it, then why would they need to lay off anybody in the first place?
      Random_Walk
      • If people just bought MS why would MS need to hire shills like John Zern?

        @Random_Walk <br><br>Zern's post is self-defeating.
        OS Reload
      • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

        @Random_Walk
        Well so much for Bill Gates saying we NEED more foreign workers, because there are not enough in the states!!!
        willisjr
    • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

      @John Zern

      More marketing than Linux and Apple, it seems. They've started an ad campaign for Internet Explorer, and they're still advertising Windows and Bing.

      Apple's ads seem to be dying off a bit. They're advertising their iPad and iPhone 4 more, but I'm not seeing much of anything else.

      Linux has no ads that I can tell. If there's anybody who isn't marketing, it's Linux - and frankly, that's one of the main reasons they can't gain any market traction.
      CobraA1
    • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

      @John Zern Marketing - Yes I had a close friend also named Don that was high up in MS Marketing. But he quit because of Gates lack of social skills with his employees. I have seen video clips of him running a meeting - 4 letter words, hostility, and no respect for others.

      D Zarlenga, PhD
      DrDZ
      • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

        @DrDZ - He probably acquired those 'skills' by osmosis from hanging around with Steve.
        ZeroSignal
      • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

        @DrDZ

        Gates is believed by some to exhibit symptoms of Asperger's Disorder which is characterized by, among other things, a lack of innate social skills. Evidence is mounting for a fundamental neurological basis for this and similar disorders. For instance, search on "mirror neurons".
        zdnet-gregc
      • I thought this was the requirement for being a computer geek

        @DrDZ If there were any social skills, he would not have spent so much time at the computer...
        happyharry_z
      • Amateur psychology abounds...

        LOL... This has to be the funniest thread I've read in a long time. Asperger's Disorder?? You can't be serious.<br><br>more LOL... :D<br><br>While I admit I'm no fan of Gates and think he's a bit of an a_hole, I think the amateur psychology from you is ridiculous.<br><br>Did you tell Gates to seek help? I'm sure his billions will cover it.
        ahh so
    • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

      @John Zern...
      Not fully accurate. the O/S's and Office would suffer less if their MarCom teams diminished. But enterprise products and the full line of Dynamics ERP/accounting products don't sell themselves. (Independent) Certified Partners push hard for those sales, both to beat out competitors, and to help prospects buy now, not next year. And the prospects they court need to see sharp MarCom materials, snappy Web pages, AND compelling case studies showing the products' real business benefits.
      archetuthus
    • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

      @John Zern :
      Actually, I find it mildly surprsing. Microsoft's strong points historically have been their marketing expertise. Much of their past success has been attributed by most of the analyzers as being the post that held the most benefit for them.
      They'v had such massive realignments and reassignments of personnel I've a feeling it might mean they're going to strengthen their hype actually and streamline it for the future. They have too many people who have Petered out thanks to bad management and HR practices.
      My opinion, anyway.
      twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988
    • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

      @John Zern <br><br>Sure, they are the brain trust that replaced low cost cardboard packages for retail software with the more expensive (cash and environmentally) hard plastic curvy containers for Office and Windows. <br><br>You know, the one that is an intelligence test: <i>"...if you are not smart enough to open this box, don't worry about not being able to install it, you are not smart enough to use our software!"</i><br><br>And they are the group who "simplified" the Office 2010 product line by eliminating the upgrade option. Too bad they introduced the "no media, product key card only" versions at the same time. So much for a simplified product line. All they simplified was separating customers from more money. IE Home and student full version (with CD) costs ~USD150, allows install on 3 machines. "Cheaper" "Product key" version is ONLY USD130, but only allows install on 1 machine. <br><br>So customer "saves" USD20-30, for a single install, costs additional USD200 incremental for the other 2 installs. <br><br>MS "saves":<br>- cost of producing Install Media CD/DVD vs cardboard credit card sized key-card <br>- cost of packaging (Plastic box vs cardboard "holder")<br>- cost of shipping install media (guess-timate 20:1 in favor of media card)<br><br>Product Key cards sound like a solid marketing win! Too bad they got fired, sorry laid off, for doing a good job!
      Ron_007
  • A canary in the coal mine that's what this is.

    And the prelude of great things to come. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy the show. You will never forgive yourself if you miss <b><i>The Triumphant Decline of Microsoft</i></b>.<br><br>It will be a great show.
    OS Reload
    • Once again, Dream On...

      @OS Reload

      People have been predicting MS' decline for years, and those predictions always end up being a Big Fat Fail.
      Qbt
      • So in your opinion MS is not in decline?

        @Qbt <br><br>Too bad so few in Redmond share your view. A little more complacency there would really help in speeding up the demise.
        OS Reload
      • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

        @OS Reload<br><br>No, they are not in decline at all. Trimming the fat is a good thing to do from time to time. <br><br>The mistake most of the idiots make that keep predicting MS's demise is that they think MS is a consumer company, when they are mostly focused on business software and services. So if you compare them to Apple, which is primarily a consumer company who has only a small line of successful products (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iTunes), then yes, Apple looks great. Look at the big picture though, and MS is way more successful than Apple. None of Apple's other products are successful, unless you think a 5% OS marketshare is "successful".
        Qbt
      • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

        @OS Reload

        Reality Check:

        <i>The cuts currently being considered are along the lines of the company's historical pattern, in which it undergoes a yearly reshuffling that sometimes results in jobs being cut in some areas at the same time new positions are added in other areas, the source told CNET.</i>

        http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20009798-56.html
        Qbt
      • Well, I guess it's about time for you to stop making that mistake

        @Qbt <br><br>just look at the kin. MS is most definitely not a consumer company, consumers don't voluntarily pick MS stuff.<br><br>Despite the xbox the rest of us already knew MS is not a consumer company.
        OS Reload
      • RE: Microsoft layoffs: Marketing, Office, partner groups all reportedly hit

        @Qbt

        [i]So if you compare them to Apple, which is primarily a consumer company who has only a small line of successful products (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iTunes), then yes, Apple looks great. Look at the big picture though, and MS is way more successful than Apple.[/i]

        MSFT market cap: $212B
        AAPL market cap: $235B
        Yagotta B. Kidding