Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella dropped the other shoe today by announcing layoffs of up to 18,000 employees over the next year. 13,000 will be announced imminently and of those, “our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers.” I expect that, as usual, it’s better to be working for the the absorber than the absorbee.
As for the remaining 5,000, “the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months.”
Microsoft today announced 800 more employee layoffs around the world. The public head counting is bit vague, but a Microsoft spokesman said that the company had already let go most of the 5,000 employees promised in January so today’s 800 layoffs were new and additional. On the other hand. if you like to try to read the tea leaves:
The software maker, based in Redmond, Wash., employed about 94,000 people as of the end of December 2008. At the end of September, about 91,000 people worked for Microsoft, indicating the company has added 2,000 jobs this year.
Perhaps, but it is cold comfort for those laid off although typical of the large corporation that Microsoft has become to be unable to manage their portfolio of activities without gratuitous layoffs whenever an economic downturn provides air cover. Among those laid off was Don Dodge, formerly Microsoft’s Director of Business Development for the Emerging Business Team who has been quoted a number of times on this blog.
Microsoft today announced the acquisition on unspecified terms of game development company BigPark:
Microsoft Corp. today announced its intent to acquire BigPark Inc., an interactive online gaming company based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The acquisition will bring BigPark’s talented developers into Microsoft Game Studios, where the team will continue development on an exclusive Xbox 360 game. Over the past year, Microsoft and BigPark have worked closely on this project, providing Microsoft with a clear view into the caliber of talent and innovation at BigPark.
Actually, the relationship was even closer than that:
BigPark was founded by Wil Mozell, Erik Kiss, Hanno Lemke and Don Mattrick before Mattrick assumed the role of senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. Mattrick’s role as an investor in BigPark was fully disclosed to Microsoft before he joined the company, and his ongoing involvement as chairman of BigPark was approved pursuant to the Microsoft Standards of Business Conduct.
This investment is interesting in view of the way Microsoft has been pruning game developers in recent years including the demise of the Flight Simulator studio in January with the first round of layoffs this year.
Among the fallout from the latest round of Microsoft layoffs is the demise of the .NET Micro Framework, Microsoft’s embedded tooling for very low powered devices. Mary Jo Foley reports:
Microsoft is turning the source code for its embedded .Net Micro Framework over to the community and slowly withdrawing from that business, company officials are confirming.
On the rumored list of teams most heavily impacted by second wave of Microsoft layoffs announced on May 5 was the .Net Micro Framework team — as well as the related MSN Direct unit. Indeed, both groups were affected, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed on May 6.
MSN Direct was originally a oddball FM broadcast service for devices like the infamous SPOT watches, but it had moved into other areas in recent years.