Microsoft is revamping its marketing strategy and may lay off hundreds of employees as a result.Dina Bass at Bloomberg reports Steve Ballmer is concerned that the company isn’t getting enough bang for its marketing buck, and is worried about threats to Microsoft’s enterprise business — the company’s core — from newcomers like Google, Apple, and Amazon.
It’s easy to see why he might be worried.
Earlier this week, Forrester Research estimated that Apple will make $10 billion in enterprise hardware sales in 2012 — that’s up from essentially zero five years ago — and this morning Google announced its biggest-ever win for Google Apps, as Spanish financial services giant BBVN said it will roll out Gmail and other Google products for its 110,000 employees by the end of the year.
The job cuts are not certain, and would number in the hundreds rather than thousands, says the report.
Separately, we’ve also heard rumblings of layoffs coming, but these rumours come up frequently and often are not borne out.
Microsoft continually cuts employees and sometimes entire product groups, but most of these are not reported as cuts because the company’s overall headcount stays the same or increases as it hires elsewhere. In 2009, it reduced headcount by about 5,000 people — the first big reduction in its history as a public company.
The marketing change is reportedly being led by Chris Capossella, who took over Microsoft’s central marketing organisation from longtime exec Michelle Mathews last year.