Welcome to Christmas in July. It’s like clockwork: With the start of Fiscal 2016, heaps of Microsoft minions have been axed. Early today, Microsoft announced 7,800 layoffs worldwide, primarily related to the Nokia mobile phone business. It makes sense, as the new CEO Satya Nadella found Ballmer’s legacy telecom tattoo to be repugnant and outside his vision for a new Microsoft. Believe it or not – I support Microsoft’s right-sizing strategy as it’s still too top heavy with people running around having meetings to plan for more meetings. Throw in the new efficiencies associated with cloud computing and you can anticipate additional layoffs in the future. I’m attending the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference next week in Orlando and I’ll report on this topic again including who’s been saved by a lifeline and who’s out.
Right: Melanie Gass having fun as a lead presenter on our Office 365 Tour this past winter and spring. We'll miss her on our fall tour circuit!
The facts are:
- In July 2014, Microsoft started laying off 18,000 people with the bulk from the Nokia phone business.
- Today, Microsoft announced it is cutting 7,800 more jobs.
- Microsoft is taking an $8 billion charge against earnings.
- Microsoft’s $8 billion charge exceeds the purchase price of the Nokia acquisition, which was just over $7 billion.
- In early trading in the NASDAQ today, Microsoft is UP a fraction with heavy volume.
- In fact, Microsoft is the lone gainer as Dow industrials sustain a 200+ point decline
- I recommend this thoughtful coverage from GeekWire, found here.
One bit of good news this week is the hiring of Melanie “Microsoft Princess” Gass in the US SMB business group as Sr. Business Development Mgr - National Strategic Influencers, MCC . She will carry the Microsoft Community Connections (MCC) torch. I’m an active MCCer hosting more than 25 MCC events annually. Think of Melanie as one of us working for them. In her now prior life, Melanie owned and operated CenterPoint Solutions in the New York City-area. A civic leader, she was recognized as a leading MCCer and an award-winning partner. Undeniably, she’ll do fine and we look forward to her representing our best interests.
What’s interesting about the Gass hire is that I can count on one hand the number of leading partners Microsoft has brought in-house to, well, talk to partners. By my guestimate, this first happened about 15 years ago when Microsoft hired Eric Ligman in its Chicago office. Later, he relocated to Redmond and today he is Microsoft Senior Sales Excellent Manager. That was followed by the hiring of Dr. Thomas Shinder who ran the isaserver.org community site. Today, he is in-house as a Program Manager Azure Security Engineering inside Microsoft. Microsoft typically hires for a different resume than Ligman, Shinder and Gass have. I’ve worked with countless traditional MBAs from Kellogg School who are intellectually fantastic but lack the street cred. In fact, years ago a friend inside Microsoft told me that they shy away from hiring outsiders such as active Microsoft Partners because of a perceived goodness of fit problem.
So think of the Gass hire as one small step for Microsoft, one large step for the SMB IT Pro community.