Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft may soon announce the biggest round of layoffs in company history.
Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said in an interview last week that he has preparing to make sweeping changes at Microsoft. The reductions will probably be in engineering, marketing and areas of overlap with Nokia, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.
The last time Microsoft announced widespread layoffs was back in 2009 when the company laid off approximately 5,800 employees. But this time around, a recession isn't behind the cutbacks. Rather, Microsoft today is bloated (especially after the Nokia acquisition) and continues to struggle in mobile where it continues to play catch-up to companies like Apple and Google. As a point of perspective, Microsoft absorbed an additional 30,000 employees when it acquired Nokia back in September of 2013 (though the deal didn't officially close until a few months later).
Just recently, newly minted Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella penned a 3,000+ word mission statement outlining, in broad strokes, Microsoft's approach for the future.
Whether or not a fresh perspective from Nadella can help less than stellar hardware sales remains to be seen. Indeed, though the bulk of Microsoft profits continue to come from Windows and Microsoft Office sales, Microsoft is increasingly showing an interest in manufacturing its own hardware. In addition to Windows Phone devices from Nokia and its line of Surface tablets, we reported not too long ago that Microsoft is, rumor has it, also keen on releasing a smartwatch later this fall.