Microsoft's reorganization blamed for job cuts at Waggener Edstrom PR firm

When Microsoft announced its big reorganization in July, CEO Steve Ballmer stated there were no plans to lay off any company employees as a result of the changes. That may still be true, but it looks like a company that works hand-in-hand with Microsoft is feeling the effects and has cut some workers as a result.

This week, the Portland Business Journal reports that Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, which handles public relations for many of Microsoft's divisions, laid off 43 workers, or about five percent of its total workforce. Of that number, 33 workers were based in the Pacific Northwest.

In a statement, Waggener Edstrom said that Microsoft's move to centralize its communications operations, spurred by the "One Microsoft" reorganization, was part of the reason for their layoffs this week. The company's Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Scott McLaughlin added, "We have a long history with Microsoft, and we adapt with them. Along with their reorganizations, there were some budget reductions that we took."

Waggener Edstrom handles general media requests for Microsoft and is also in charge of PR for nearly all of Microsoft's divisions, with the biggest exception being its Xbox unit, which is handled by Edelman.

Source: Portland Business Journal | Image via Microsoft

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15 Comments

MS should've had one central marketing group for years, there's not reason why different divisions had to have their own marketing doing it's own thing. At least now they can not only work together on the software side as far as bringing all the different services/apps/OS together but also the marketing can better reflect it.

GP007 said,
MS should've had one central marketing group for years, there's not reason why different divisions had to have their own marketing doing it's own thing. At least now they can not only work together on the software side as far as bringing all the different services/apps/OS together but also the marketing can better reflect it.

This is public relations, not marketing. They probably had employees working with specific divisions to get answers faster, but now that some of the divisions have been consolidated there may have been the dreaded "redundancies."

-adrian- said,
oh boy..43 workers.. poor guys! and that from a reorganisation of a 97000 employee organisation

5% of your number would be 4850 workers not 43, so they obviously do not have 97k workers. Plus, go lose your job and then see how you feel

xendrome said,

5% of your number would be 4850 workers not 43, so they obviously do not have 97k workers. Plus, go lose your job and then see how you feel


i think that number is MS employees

Maybe the less PR, the better. Microsoft's PR hasn't been all that great. Maybe they should just look for another PR firm altogether.

Anytime a company announces anything close to streamline, one company, insight, etc., etc., just interpret it as "we're getting rid of people, but never the higher management".

Microsoft has been using these guys for decades. They've had plenty of time to expand their client base. Don't think the reinvested much of the MS Marketing money over the decades.

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