Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider
Microsoft is laying off about 200 people in marketing positions throughout the company.The layoffs were first rumoured in a report by Bloomberg last month, and Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet first reported that they started today.
Foley also pointed to a tweet from Maher Al-Khayiat, a Microsoft marketing manager, saying “Microsoft to announce major layoffs today as a result of marketing org restructuring.”
That tweet has since been removed.
Separately, sources confirmed a report from Geekwire that the layoffs numbered around 200 people. Most of the layoffs are in the Seattle area, rather than in the company’s many field sales offices.
The layoffs affect marketing groups across the company — both the central marketing group (which handles company branding and advertising) and in individual product groups.
This is a different situation than the major layoffs in 2009, which affected about 5,000 employees. In that case, Microsoft was reducing headcount to respond to a major dropoff in its business. This time, the layoffs are focused on a single area with the goal of streamlining and reducing redundancies. The company’s overall headcount will probably still rise, as it’s hiring elsewhere.
Here is Microsoft’s statement on the layoffs:
Given the rapid changes in technology and the shifts in how our customers connect with Microsoft, great marketing is more important than ever to Microsoft’s future success. We’re taking steps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our marketing, and to strengthen career paths for marketers at Microsoft. Some of these changes involved the reduction of a small percentage of marketing positions, to better align our resources with our business needs and clarify roles across the marketing function.