By Barry Eitel
SAN FRANCISCO (AA) – Microsoft informed employees Monday the company plans to restructure its sales and marketing operations but some fear the reorganization will include massive jobs cuts.
Several inside sources told media outlets “thousands” of workers would soon be laid off as part of the plan.
The internal memo to workers did not mention layoffs but a company spokesman told Anadolu Agency “Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners,” noting there was nothing to add beyond the statement regarding layoffs.
Essentially, the company desires to focus more on cloud computing services instead of standalone pieces of software such as Microsoft Office.
“There is an enormous $4.5 trillion market opportunity across our commercial and consumer businesses,” according to the memo.
Cloud computing is expected to be a $246.8 billion global industry by the end of 2017, a report from analysis firm Gartner said.
Microsoft is already facing fierce competition from Amazon and Google in the field.
“We are uniquely positioned to drive our customers’ and partners’ success by leading them through their digital transformations, and becoming their partner of choice,” the letter said. “To help us do that, starting today, we begin to implement changes to our commercial and consumer models. These changes will position us to best meet the evolving needs of our customers and partners, and empower them to achieve more.”
Microsoft cut 2,850 jobs in 2016, the bulk of which were related to the company’s failed foray into smartphone manufacturing.
In 2015, Microsoft laid off 18,000 employees in its biggest-ever round of job cuts. More than 12,000 of those employees worked for the Nokia mobile phone business Microsoft acquired a year earlier.
Shares of Microsoft dipped slightly amid the news, closing Monday at $68.17.