In a recent internal announcement, Microsoft confirmed another round of layoffs targeting customer service, support, and sales teams. The reductions exceed the initial 10,000 global job cuts disclosed by the tech giant on January 18, 2023.
As the fiscal year of Microsoft ended on June 30, 2023, such an organizational shuffle doesn’t seem entirely unexpected. The company often restructures various aspects of its operations as it embarks on a new fiscal year. In response to inquiries regarding the layoffs, a Microsoft spokesperson stated, “Organizational and workforce adjustments are a necessary and regular part of managing our business. We will continue to prioritize and invest in strategic growth areas for our future and in support of our customers and partners.”
The extent of the layoffs remains unclear, but LinkedIn posts from affected employees suggest that the cuts impact various teams, roles, and geographies, predominantly within customer support and sales sectors.
This recent round of layoffs follows a third wave of job cuts in March that impacted employees in supply chain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) roles. Those layoffs were part of the 10,000 job reductions announced earlier this year.
Significant cuts were made in Washington state where 689 employees were sacked, while in February, Microsoft reported to Washington State that 617 employees were let go. In the same month, the company notified California that 108 employees had been laid off.
In January, 878 employees were let go in Washington state, bringing the state’s total layoffs to 2,184. These significant figures underline the extent of Microsoft’s restructuring.
Additionally, details have emerged that Microsoft has shut down its AI-powered automation initiative, Project Bonsai, laying off the associated team. A principal product manager with an 18-year tenure at Microsoft, who led a team in Supply Chain Engineering, part of the Cloud and AI group, also reported his group’s dismissal.
Microsoft’s Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella announced in January 2023 that the company would be “making changes that will result in the reduction of our overall workforce by 10,000 jobs through the end of FY23 Q3 (third quarter).”
With over 220,000 employees currently on its payroll, Microsoft’s layoffs thus far represent a decrease of roughly 5% of its total workforce. The company’s recent steps indicate a significant shift in its operational strategy, focusing on critical growth areas to navigate the rapidly evolving tech landscape.