Nadella Popular at Microsoft, Layoffs or Not

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella remains popular at Microsoft, despite his implementing the layoff of 18,000 employees, according to Business Insider. Although the website cited only a “source close to Microsoft,” it noted that Nadella retains an 87 percent employee approval rating on Glassdoor.

Most Microsoft employees understand the reasoning behind the layoffs, BI’s source said: The company isn’t interested in building feature phones, and so it let go the people at Nokia working on them. About 12,500 of the people who lost their jobs were at Nokia. Meanwhile, Nadella was determined to streamline Redmond’s project management structure. Test engineers, particularly in the Windows unit, were among the hardest hit, BI says.

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Nadella is trying to reinvent Microsoft as a cloud- and mobile-centric company focused on cross-platform services and applications. Analysts and pundits long predicted that Nadella would cut jobs as part of his broader strategy.

Before the layoffs, Microsoft employees were organized into three disciplines: program managers, developers and testers. Those groups reported to their own managers. As a result, product decisions were made by committee—program managers, developers and testers all weighing in to their managers, who in turn weighed in to their managers, to a level quite high up the food chain. It wasn’t until an issue reached the EVP level that a single person would make a call. “It was management by committee on steroids,” BI observes, “a very slow way to build products.”

Before the cuts were announced, Nadella was already talking about changing Microsoft’s culture. “Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture to deliver on [our] core strategy,” he wrote in a July 10 memo to employees.

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2 Responses to “Nadella Popular at Microsoft, Layoffs or Not”

  1. What’s not reported in this article is the biggest impact to the economy is the contractors that work for Microsoft. This includes A- and V- vendors (temps/contractors) who will have to take 6 months off before they can work for Microsoft again. It used to be 3 months, which is reasonable to save for 3 months of bills before you go back to work. The contractors to save for 6 months before going back to work is not reasonable. Microsoft is already saving money by not paying benefits and they are treating their contracts like cattle. This is the biggest slap in the face if your a contractor at Microsoft.