July 7, 2017 // 10:56 a.m.
Microsoft has confirmed that it is reorganising its sales division with a heavier focus on cloud computing products and services, and that as a result a figure stated to sit under 10 percent of its global sales force is for the chop.
Rumours of impending job losses at Microsoft surfaced earlier this week with unnamed sources speaking to multiple news outlets claiming that the company was to reorganise with a tighter focus on its Azure cloud platform and related products. Bloomberg was told that the cuts would represent 'some of the most significant in the sales force in years,' while TechCrunch was told the losses would be in the 'thousands' following a planned merger of the company's previously-distinct large-scale enterprise and small-to-medium business divisions.
Microsoft has now broken its silence and confirmed that cuts accounting for less than 10 percent of its global salesforce are to go ahead. CNBC was the first with the news, publishing a statement from the company confirming that it was 'taking steps to notify some employees that their jobs are under consideration or that their positions will be eliminated. Like all companies,' the unnamed spokesperson continued, '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.'
CNBC was told that the goal of the cuts was not to reduce operating costs but as a result of the reorganisation. The New York Times has published extracts from an internal email penned by Microsoft's Judson Althoff claiming the cuts would 'enable us to align the right resources for the right customer at the right time'. The paper has also gone on record putting the total job loss numbers at between 3,000 and 4,000 positions, primarily outside the US.
While Microsoft has made individual statements to selected press outlets, no public or investor statement regarding the reorganisation or the related job cuts had been published on the company's website.