Microsoft Reportedly Initiates Layoffs

Microsoft has reportedly initiated layoffs.

“Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly,” read Microsoft’s statement to CNBC. “We will continue to invest in our business and hire in key growth areas in the year ahead.”

Although the company didn’t cite the number of layoffs or the divisions impacted, Axios reports that the cuts affected “a variety of levels, teams, and parts of the world,” and totaled “under 1,000 workers.”

Microsoft has spent 2022 curbing some of its job-hiring momentum. In May, for example, it announced a hiring slowdown for its Office and Windows divisions. In July, a Bloomberg report suggested the company would cut back on open jobs, even in “hot” arenas such as cybersecurity and its Azure cloud platform.

At the same time, however, CEO Satya Nadella has poured money into retention efforts. In an internal email that leaked earlier this year, Nadella said he would double the budget for merit-based salary increases, with the range for annual stock-based compensation also rising. “The most meaningful increases will be focused where the market demands and on early to mid-career levels,” he wrote. “We are also increasing Annual Stock ranges by at least 25 percent for all levels 67 and below.” 

Microsoft isn’t the only tech giant slowing its hiring or cutting workers—just as it’s not the only one trying to keep its most skilled technology professionals onboard. Apple, Meta, Salesforce, and Google have all very publicly slowed or frozen hiring. Amazon, meanwhile, has boosted its maximum base pay for corporate and technology employees from $160,000 to $350,000 (on top of handing out “record amounts” of stock).

Keeping costs constrained while paying enough to retain very smart (and generally well-paid) technologists is a difficult tightrope for any company to walk. With the tech unemployment rate still notably low, highly skilled workers have lots of opportunities out there, and they’ll jump to a role that offers more money, flexible scheduling, and other perks. For managers everywhere, retention isn’t just about the money—it’s also about listening to team members to figure out what they really want when it comes to projects, benefits, and perks.

2 Responses to “Microsoft Reportedly Initiates Layoffs”

  1. jake_leone

    If you are laying off, even in the “hot” areas that require significant skills, such as Cyber Security and Azure Cloud. Why do you need H-1b visas for other, more mundane, work?
    Microsoft has always had a routine layoff scheme, where they layoff local workers and replace them with indentured workers. That’s a great way to improve retention, just bypass the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
    There is a myth that older workers are untrainable. It is a myth perpetrated by executives, who actually have as their 1st goal, hire workers that are stuck in their job and can’t leave, forever until Green Card day happens.
    Don’t believe me, read the Emails that were exposed in the Silicon Valley no Poaching Scandal.
    Congress has had 20 years to enact Green Card reforms. But nothing has changed. Everyone says, we are for speeding up the Green Card process, but nothing changes. And the reason is simple.
    You have to have the direct financial backing of big business for any change to get through Congress. Taking that financial backing comes with huge concessions to worker rights. But they’ll take it, if they can spin it right.
    Industry actually likes the current Green Card Back Log, it is infinitely preferable to actually enacting real green card reform, and real H-1b visa allocation changes (such as an allocation based upon salary offered, instead of a brain dead random chance lottery).
    But I am here to tell you, we will point out every obvious flaw in any such bill. As well as inform you on how to do Green Card reform properly so that it maximizes worker capability, freedom to choose the employment they desire, as well as make sure that companies seriously consider better qualified local candidates.
    Congress, take the money, but follow our directions, and stick it right to industry. Because for years, they have whined about these issues, but the reality is, they just want an indentured workforce. And we can’t let the spoiled brats destroy the MAIN dynamic of American Capitalism. And that MAIN dynamic, is that workers are free to leave their current employer, and join or create a competing startup, thereby freeing up resources that often get smothered by Corporate sandbaggers.
    Facebook, in DOJ vs Facebook, admitted to Federal Investigators that it finds 30x more fully qualified local candidates, than it can actually hire. And Facebook further said, that many of the local candidates are better qualified than foreign workers at Facebook, undergoing the Green Card certification process, for similar jobs. Facebook never forwards the resumes of the better qualified local candidates to the hiring managers involved in the Green Card process, because that would immediately invalidate the Green Card application.
    And this strategy comes from Facebook’s legal team, and that legal team is following the same strategy outlined in a Legal Conference (~2005) that you can watch on YouTube, just search for “Fake Perm ads”.
    So what I am saying is, all of Big Tech follows the same strategy, even Microsoft. Because layoffs are all about exchanging workers that have full 13th amendment rights for typically lesser skilled foreign workers that do not have their full 13th amendment rights.