The move is part of a restructuing of the company's sales force. The restructuring is set to include an organizational merger that involves its enterprise customer unit and one or more of its SME-focused divisions. The changes are set to be announced this coming week, we understand.
Microsoft is saying nothing about the move, which has been leaked to the press. Earlier this weekend, the Puget Sound Business Journal, Bloomberg and The Seattle Times all reported ‘major’ layoffs related to a move to increase the emphasis on cloud services within Microsoft’s sales teams worldwide. Bloomberg said the redundancies would be “some of the most significant in the sales force in years”.
The reorganization looks to be a result of a change of leadership this past year. Executives Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois took charge of Microsoft’s sales and marketing divisions following the exit of long-serving COO Kevin Turner last summer. Althoff, for one, has been public in his criticism of previous sales approaches, and he is keen to make Azure a central part of the focus.
Normally Vole announces any layoffs at this time of year. Last year, Microsoft announced that it would cut 2,850 jobs — including at least 900 from its sales group. This followed the firing of 1,850 voles related to its smartphone business two months earlier. In July 2015, it made 7,800 job cuts and wrote down $7.6 billion of its Nokia acquisition.