10 days ago, reports circulated that Microsoft was planning to fire 15,000 people on January 15. We said we thought this was highly unlikely. As expected, more recent reports suggest that the culling is likely to be far smaller:
Report: “Massive layoff” unlikely at MicrosoftA CNBC report out today appears to put to rest continued rumours of significant Microsoft layoffs coming this month.
In recent weeks, two blogs — Mini-Microsoft and Fudzilla — have both reported that Microsoft is preparing to lay off large numbers of employees before the company announces its second quarter earnings on Jan. 22.
Neither blogger quoted inside sources and both later backtracked on their reports.
Fudzilla, for instance, said in its initial report that Microsoft was considering cutting up to 17 per cent of its “90,000 employees,” a number which seemed to refer to the 95,768 employees directly employed by the company. That number does not include contractors.
In a more recent report, Fudzilla backtracked saying, “There’s a big chance that a large chunk of the 17 per cent figure could come out of the agency staff.” “Agency staff” refers to contractors.
Mini-Microsoft, who initially wrote about a 10 per cent layoff but admitted he was simply reporting on “rumours and second-hand speculation,” followed up with a post titled, “No Layoffs at Microsoft.”
In any case, CNBC reports that while Microsoft will “embark on significant cost-cutting … the cuts will largely be handled through attrition and the non-renewal of contract employees, rather than through a rumoured, sweeping layoff.”
Also, Edge reports that Microsoft’s PR team augmented its “no comment” by pointing Edge to the PI’s post above, thus condoning it.