Microsoft marketing layoffs begin today [Update]

Update: The Seattle Times has received a statement from Microsoft confirming there will be layoffs in its marketing divisions but would not confirm any specific numbers. However, the Seattle Times did say that up to 200 employees could be affected, according to their own sources.

Original story: In January, rumors hit the Internet that Microsoft was planning to restructure its marketing divisions. The reports claimed that the ultimate result of those changes could be the loss of hundreds of jobs at the company. Today, ZDNet.com report via unnamed sources that Microsoft's marketing layoffs could be starting as early as today.

The story claims that most of the layoffs will affect Microsoft's Central Marketing Group but that some layoffs will happen in the marketing departments of other divisions such as Server and Tools and Windows Phone. One Microsoft marketing team member, Commercial and Communications Sector Lead Maher Al-Khaiyat, made a post on his Twitter page today that Microsoft planned to announce major layoffs but that Twitter message has since been deleted.

In 2011, Microsoft reportedly spent $13.9 billion on marketing. However, these new layoffs are reportedly being ordered for the marketing division to eliminate some job overlap and also to better respond to its competitors such as Apple.

If these layoffs do in fact happen, it would only be the second time in the company's history that Microsoft made the decision to give a large amount of its team members pink slips. In 2009, at the height of the economic crisis, Microsoft laid off a total of 5,000 employees.

Image via ZDnet

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37 Comments

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Albert said,
good to see microsoft cutting the bullsheet. now if they would start making usable products ...

Funny. I'm using quite a few microsoft products in my everyday life and the all seem to be very usable to me and a couple hundred million ppl around the globe!

does internet trolling really makes you feel more important?

Funny he is right cause for me to Format SSD, Windows offering is not efficient but HDDErase 3.3 release running through DOS.

The other day an Apple fan was talking to me about how complicated Windows is, that he has to use all those dos commands, format, create a partition in dos... Of course, he was talking about 98 or XP... So Microsoft needs to start cleaning their image and their products' image, a lot of people are still in the Windows 98, XP era

efjay said,
The whole Windows Phone marketing team should be at the head of this list.
Agreed. The Amazing Everyday looks nice on paper but holy hell the ads stink. They don't separate WP from competitors in any way.

warwagon said,
Marketing? What Marketing?

You know, that glorious marketing that they did at CES on who can post to social networks the fastest. That was brilliant. /s

warwagon said,
Marketing? What Marketing?

Why the zune marketing that marketing.... Remember how they put that all over TV and everything, oh wait, they didn't, they just created it and expected it to sell.
FIRE THE LOT!

UndergroundWire said,

You know, that glorious marketing that they did at CES on who can post to social networks the fastest. That was brilliant. /s

I actually thought the whole "smoked by windows phone" thing was pretty cool.

Tharp Daddy said,

I actually thought the whole "smoked by windows phone" thing was pretty cool.

That's not how you market a phone to adults though. It's good marketing for children. "Let's see who can post to Facebook faster" LAME!

It's no wonder the Microsoft marketing department is facing massive layoffs.

It was that big purchase of SKYPE last year that brought this on. I knew somewhere it would hit their pockets finacially.

Microsoft at times seem pretty woeful at marketing but probably not that bad when you see the sales they get.

I really doubt that $14.9 billion figure. Even with all their products.

There has been news stories in the past that they spend just over $1 billion each for Office, Windows, Xbox etc.

oceanmotion said,
Microsoft at times seem pretty woeful at marketing but probably not that bad when you see the sales they get.

I really doubt that $14.9 billion figure. Even with all their products.

There has been news stories in the past that they spend just over $1 billion each for Office, Windows, Xbox etc.

I was thinking exactly the same thing! I think the figure is $1.4 billion.

FMH said,
$14 billion on marketing? That's huge!

yes, that is huge when they have a revenue of 70bn. marketing is huge for any company. i hope they dont screw up after the job cuts.
but this is bad for the economy.

still1 said,

yes, that is huge when they have a revenue of 70bn. marketing is huge for any company. i hope they dont screw up after the job cuts.
but this is bad for the economy.

How so? They are replacing those jobs. Their marketing team needs to be replaced so fresh ideas can flourish. MS is in the beginning of a huge reinvention of itself.

dtboos said,

How so? They are replacing those jobs. Their marketing team needs to be replaced so fresh ideas can flourish. MS is in the beginning of a huge reinvention of itself.


I said I hope they don't screw up and not they will screw up.

still1 said,

I said I hope they don't screw up and not they will screw up.

You also said "this is bad for the economy", to which I was replying.

dtboos said,

You also said "this is bad for the economy", to which I was replying.


people loosing job is not good for the economy.... and MS is not replacing any jobs. its going to be the same team except some will lose their job. it is just restructuring and not replacing there is a huge difference.

Jebadiah said,

And how is it not bad for the economy?

The "economy" will not feel the loss of some of MS's marketing team. They can go find new careers as they've obviously failed.

dtboos said,

The "economy" will not feel the loss of some of MS's marketing team. They can go find new careers as they've obviously failed.


yeah thats what every company says when they layoff people... just 300!!! just 500!!! just 100!!! just 350!!

dtboos said,

The "economy" will not feel the loss of some of MS's marketing team. They can go find new careers as they've obviously failed.

I hope your narrow minded one-sided thinking gets you somewhere in life. You sound ignorant.

People don't always get laid off because of bad performance or "failure", as you put it. Anyone who has worked a day in their lives would know this as fact.

The fact that you see this as a move to "take out the trash" is ignorant in itself because you haven't comprehended the article either.

Jobs give people money. People spend that money. Layoffs result in no new money for the people laid off. People stop spending money.

Those still employed at MS also see that their colleagues got laid off. They start feeling scared and insecure too. They stop spending (start saving) as much money as they were when they felt secure on their job.

The US economy runs on spending, not saving, "if you haven't figured that out Einstein". Reduced spending will result in a slower US economy.

The trickle down effect of slow spending affects everybody, and mostly the people who have no job anymore in the tough job market.

In this case, this is 200 or so employees according to reports, so the effect on everybody is small. Remember 2009? I went through the peak of the US recession. I bet you don't because you sound really really ignorant.

Edited by Jebadiah, Feb 2 2012, 5:53am :

dtboos said,

How so? They are replacing those jobs. Their marketing team needs to be replaced so fresh ideas can flourish. MS is in the beginning of a huge reinvention of itself.

The fish always begin to stink from the head: MS is run by bean counters, they should get back BG or some other visionary.
Do not forget that was Gates who pushed, and obviously obtained, that MS developed and launched the "Tablet" concept..... If we had to wait for Ballmer and Co. Apple could have really invented it

Jebadiah said,

And how is it not bad for the economy?


Efficiency is a good thing... I'm pretty sure it was good for the economy when companies switched to automated pbx's from manual switchboards. Pretty sad how poorly understood economics is these days.

Jebadiah said,

I hope your narrow minded one-sided thinking gets you somewhere in life. You sound ignorant.

People don't always get laid off because of bad performance or "failure", as you put it. Anyone who has worked a day in their lives would know this as fact.

The fact that you see this as a move to "take out the trash" is ignorant in itself because you haven't comprehended the article either.

Jobs give people money. People spend that money. Layoffs result in no new money for the people laid off. People stop spending money.

Those still employed at MS also see that their colleagues got laid off. They start feeling scared and insecure too. They stop spending (start saving) as much money as they were when they felt secure on their job.

The US economy runs on spending, not saving, "if you haven't figured that out Einstein". Reduced spending will result in a slower US economy.

The trickle down effect of slow spending affects everybody, and mostly the people who have no job anymore in the tough job market.

In this case, this is 200 or so employees according to reports, so the effect on everybody is small. Remember 2009? I went through the peak of the US recession. I bet you don't because you sound really really ignorant.


tldr: I know nothing about economics except that which I learned from watching the today show