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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go 383

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the burning-the-platform dept.
DW100 (2227906) writes "Satya Nadella has taken an axe to Microsoft's 127,000-strong workforce by announcing a whopping 18,000 job cuts, including 12,500 from the recently integrated Nokia division. At least 13,000 jobs will go within the next six months." It's official, Ballmer's layoff record has been smashed. From the email sent to employees: "The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce. With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, 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. We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months."
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Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

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  • justice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @08:52AM (#47473889)

    revenge for the start button

  • by bravecanadian (638315) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @08:54AM (#47473909)

    CEO-speak.. "building the right organization" "work towards synergies and strategic alignment" gobbledygoop

    I'm all for cutting out bureaucracy where it isn't needed but come on man..

  • by sinij (911942) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @08:55AM (#47473917) Journal
    Translation: Slash 18K jobs, apply for 18K H-1B visas.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @08:59AM (#47473949)

    Just another puppet inheriting the stink barge. Nothing will change at Microsoft. Cuts, layoffs, and generally contribution to economic stagnation is all these clowns are about. Pay no attention to what they ever say. Watch what they do... and it's always the same...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:01AM (#47473971)

    Just remember that companies like Valve were founded by ex-Microsoft software engineers.

  • by Squidlips (1206004) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:08AM (#47474015)
    Words like "synergies and strategic alignment" and right sizing are right out of the Dilbert Mission Statement generator (which used to be on the Dilbert web site). Nothing can be as demoralizing as being managed by exec's so stupid that they have never read Dilbert.
  • Burning platforms (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stoploss (2842505) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:10AM (#47474025)

    I guess Nokia's platform really was burning after all. It's just that it was arson.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:12AM (#47474047) Homepage

    Nothing can be as demoralizing as being managed by exec's so stupid that they have never read Dilbert.

    The problem in real life, as it is in Dilbert, is the things we cringe at are the things the executives think "now there's a damned fine idea".

    There's a huge disconnect between how management people respond to those things versus what the rest of us do.

    Unfortunately, they're the ones calling the shots -- and what we see as parody and satire, they see as an instruction manual.

    I don't believe I've ever worked at a company where the management team didn't (on a semi regular basis) take a page straight out of the Dilbert playbook and begin to implement it.

    It's like we experience an entirely different reality.

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:13AM (#47474055) Journal
    "In order to ensure continued access to scarce skillsets that are key to our ability to innovate, we need to be able to draw flexibly from a global pool of professionals."

    (Oh, and we also resent having to pay those scarce and valuable individuals more than $15 / hour. So we'll still need some foreign worker visas, thanks).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:17AM (#47474079)

    Wall Street is that free loader who somehow convinced you to let him into the house. Every time one of your family members dies, he celebrates because it means more food for him.

    On a more serious note, the moment you compromise your mission statement as a company in order to make money a group of people who are using you as a racing horse, sometimes even betting against you, to make a betting number go up you've lost all sense of reality and its usually just a matter of time. If Microsoft was actually all about making good products that improve people's lives and not making money for shareholders then I imagine we'd have a much different opinion of them.

  • IBM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:20AM (#47474093)

    That's what IBM does: lays off thousands here in the USA and just hires overseas.

    And they still charge an obscene amount for their products and services.

    It's all about cost arbitrage now: really cheap technical labor overseas and charge like you have 100% American or Western European labor.

    Our country and economy is being bled dry by the multinationals.

    While we are distracted by cheaper big screen TV and other electronic toys, the things that really matter are becoming more expensive while our pay is declining - and it's not just inflation. I see jobs here in Metro Atl that are paying $60K+ that once paid $80K+ back in the late 90s. If you include inflation, that's a hell of a pay cut.

    But in the meantime, fuel, medical, education, food, housing (rents are going back up) and essentials to living are going up.

    We are in a spiral to the bottom because multinational companies are importing poverty from the Third World.

    Solution? I stopped buying shit. It helps that retailers are becoming more and more obnoxious. No more rip-off cable or other services like that. Smart phone? Shove it.

    Food? I cook and it's all unprocessed - no packaged shit with shit additives.

    Car? 20 years old and counting. And I do the maintenance: clutch, head gasket, brakes, you names it. Sorry for the local mechanic, but that's the new reality of our country.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:21AM (#47474097)

    Right, because getting ah H-1B is /really/ easy!
    No bureaucratic nonsense there!

    And they are also a lot cheaper, because they can be lower than comparable US workers, right, right?

    http://www.h1bwage.com/index.php
    http://www.flcdatacenter.com/ /sarcasm

    Can we skip this useless blabber?
    You hire someone on H-1B because they possess quality you can't find in the country.
    Hiring H-1B for cost-reduction is idiocy! (better just ship your production overseas)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:21AM (#47474101)

    Sign the petition, lets get Obama to address why we still have H1B's
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/discuss-why-we-still-allow-h1b-visas-during-slow-economy/BxntX3JC

  • by Exitar (809068) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:24AM (#47474127)

    Nokia can only blame itself for letting Elop become their CEO years ago.

  • Stephen Elop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:25AM (#47474131)

    It's amazing that this guy can run the company into the ground and still have a job. How badly do you have to screw up to get fired as a CEO?

  • Microsoft from going to congress and crying that they need more H1-B's because they can't find workers with the skills that they need.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:52AM (#47474343)

    3 steps to making your company great:
    Step 1) Recognize your company has a problem and need help MS -"We are incapable of breaching the mobile phone market on our own"
    Step 2) Buy a company that has success in the area your current employees are having trouble with MS -"Lets buys Nokia"
    Step 3) Fire employees of the successful acquisition and keep on your incompetent ones to manage the downfall of the tech your just acquired MS - "Lets be the right size"

    You'll be the right size in no time MS.

    Keep up the good work

  • by Squidlips (1206004) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:53AM (#47474351)
    MS already has a hideous management technique called "stack ranking" that killed morale (http://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2012/07/03/the-terrible-management-technique-that-cost-microsoft-its-creativity/). Now some idiot in management decides to float the story about 5K jobs going away in 6 months and couch it in Dilbert weasel words. So everyone who is not demoralized enough by stack ranking will be terrified by this announcement.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:55AM (#47474365)

    It's like we experience an entirely different reality.

    Well of course you do. Your reality is working on a project, shielded from higher-level concerns. Their reality is trying to shield you from higher-level concerns by managing them. You are no more equipped to understand their job than they are to understand yours. Dilbert does a great job lampooning the aspects that are visible to you, but a poor job of explaining the aspects that are not. You won't get this until you become a manager, I'm afraid.

  • by jcdr (178250) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:57AM (#47474387)

    Very true. How the board was misinformed to the point of doing a such clear suicide is still part of the hidden story. Even more strange is the constant support the board give to the CEO even after all the alarms was turning full red. The "No plan B" concept was the biggest mistake ever from a board.

  • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:58AM (#47474399)

    That means, for over 6 months, Microsoft employees won't know for sure whether they will be laid off or kept.

    Which means the most talented and valuable employees will find new jobs before there are layoffs, and Microsoft will end up keeping the ones that couldn't find a job elsewhere.

    How does this make Microsoft better?

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:58AM (#47474405)

    And yet, somehow, a figure picked out of GP's ass to cause a stir... is?

  • Re:IBM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:59AM (#47474409)

    Nothing to do with IBM. The oligarchs have seized power over the last 20 years and now the screw is being turned. The more they turn, the more scared you become. All around the world, policy is dictated by the corporations and they're invariably directly working against the population.

  • by Casualposter (572489) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:16AM (#47474549) Journal

    Oh what utter rubbish! Management is mostly irrelevant - especially the over paid CEO types who can't seem to figure out what the company does - but they can sure "manage" it. Good, driven, visionary management can keep a company healthy and profitable for centuries, but most of these managers are about as useful as pot holes. What they are really good at is convincing themselves and their cronies on the board of directors that they deserve more pay, more bonuses, because well, they are paid millions so they must be worth millions more! In reality, the average manager is not any smarter than the guy running the project and certainly not better at predicting where the market it is headed, or what the economy is going to do, or what the sales for next quarter will be. AS for the higher level concerns . . . what higher level concerns? A business has all the same issues as a family - income, taxes, the crazy dude next door with the chainsaw and the lawyer...which church to go to for the tax breaks and legal loop holes. Please don't put any faith in management - they either understand the company because they've worked there (and can do an adequate job of keeping the place running) or they are just some rich dude in a suit with less clue about how to run a company than a chimpanzee has of running a zoo.

  • by Entropius (188861) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:17AM (#47474565)

    They continually invent new and creative kinds of suck.

  • by CaptainDork (3678879) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:21AM (#47474599)

    Yeah, my company escorted me out the gate because I was a network jockey and they didn't want me to sabotage the system.

    Two days later they're calling me with, "How do we ...," and "What's the passwords for ...," and "Where are the ..."

    I offered to respond by email:

    "The Firm has made the decision to "right-size" its IT department to better align with strategies going forward. In support of that decision, I know the Firm has retained the very best-of-breed systems analysts and I think we should rely on those superior personnel to figure out what knowledge I departed with. I know you will agree that Firm policy prohibits sensitive communication with non-employees and it is with a spirit of cooperation that I decline to ever speak to any of you ever again."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:21AM (#47474605)
    You are no more equipped to understand their job than they are to understand yours.

    If they can't understand my job, they damn sure aren't competent to manage it.
  • by pavon (30274) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:23AM (#47474613)

    Microsoft brought over 25,000 Nokia employees in the merger of which 12,500 are to be laid off in the next 6 months. Probably all that's left is the hardware engineers, with nearly all of software, marketing and management getting the boot.

  • by Sir_Eptishous (873977) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:39AM (#47474751) Homepage
    Most CEO's and Executive Level types are sociopaths.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:43AM (#47474779) Homepage

    If you are not making $45 or more an hour you are being robbed. Programmers are massively underpaid compared to the skillset we need to do our jobs. Why the hell do we tolerate deflating the job down to the level of a factory worker?

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:47AM (#47474823) Homepage

    You are no more equipped to understand their job than they are to understand yours.

    Horseshit.

    I once worked at a company which primarily grew by acquisition.

    The running joke (albeit real) was that the VP of R&D from the last major acquisition was now the VP of R&D for the entire company.

    And that VP would develop a huge sense of "Not Invented Here", and start to decide that any product which wasn't invented by his company wasn't worth pursuing.

    In several instances they tried to fiddle with the core competencies, get rid of things which were absolutely central to the business model, and generally fsck things up. Because the particular brand of hammer they sold was all they understood, and anything else must therefore be unimportant.

    I can't even count how many MBAs I've met who had precisely zero experience in the industry they were suddenly in, who started to make decisions which demonstrated that, other than the case studies they did in school, they didn't have a frigging clue. In fact, I've seen numerous examples where their understanding of the technology was so non-existent they couldn't understand what it did, and why their arbitrary choices were disconnected from the real world.

    People get parachuted into management positions in companies they know nothing about and don't fully understand, and then apply their one size fits all solution -- even if that solution is a terrible idea.

    This belief that someone who has studied management understand either the business or the process of management is a crock of shit. Because anybody who has worked in tech long enough knows damned well that most of them are doing things just to make themselves look important.

    We once had a departmental manager insist on building ER diagrams for our product. The problem was, the software wasn't based on an RDB, the ER diagrams were meaningless and misleading, and had absolutely nothing to do with anything.

    I've seen situations in which the guy who owned a piece of technology was responsible for deciding that it was the one we should go with, despite overwhelming evidence that the piece of software he was responsible for wasn't capable of doing what it was supposed to replace. This was purely ego, politics, and carving out their own little fiefdom.

    You think Elon Musk went into Nokia with an understanding of what Nokia needed as a business? Or merely a view that whatever they were doing was wrong because it wasn't based on Microsoft stuff?

    You won't get this until you become a manager, I'm afraid.

    If I hadn't seen so many examples of gross incompetence in management, I might actually believe there is a kernel of truth here.

    But since I have, I don't.

    Management isn't some elite bunch of people with all of the answers. They're a bunch of people who were chosen by a bunch of people like them to carry out policies which have already been decided upon.

    And it is as much about politics as it is reality.

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:58AM (#47474915) Homepage Journal
    Programmers are massively underpaid compared to the skillset we need to do our jobs.

    Considering the lousy end products I have to deal with on a daily basis, paying programmers more money won't improve the skillset. You want to be paid more money? Produce a better product.

    As to the products I'm talking about, let's start with Oracle and SAP then move on to Microsoft itself, Apple, HP and Siemens to name the most used ones I deal with.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @12:36PM (#47475779) Journal

    Programmers are massively underpaid compared to the skillset we need to do our jobs.

    A bachelors degree? We don't 'deserve' to get paid more than chemists, but we do. Like everything else, we get paid according to supply and demand. The skillset required to be an artist is tough to develop, but those guys don't get paid much.

  • by erp_consultant (2614861) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @01:05PM (#47476129)

    The latest buzzword is Human Capital Management. Note the use of the word Capital, as in asset. You, as an employee, are nothing more than a piece of furniture in their eyes. In the old days they called it the Personnel department. At least that had some sort of human element to it.

    The morals of the story?

    1) Don't trust management. They will cast you aside at the blink of an eye to save their own ass.
    2) Don't get fooled into thinking you have lifetime employment with anyone.
    3) Even when you have a job, never stop looking for the next one.

  • "You want to be paid more money? Produce a better product. "
    nope. That does not impact pay. Get thing out at the arbitrary schedule, regardless of quality, mean you are a team player, and as such worth more.

    Look at you own post. It seems Oracle, SAP, MS, et all make a lot of money with their crappy products.
    Yeah, I work with them to.

    We need a solid push for actual engineer in software. Not just some coder who calls themselves an engineer(often illegally), but someone who is certified and needs to sigh off on projects. Lets put actual testing in place. Actual documentation.
    Like actual Professional Engineers.

  • by Raenex (947668) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @03:46PM (#47477603)

    Just remember that companies like Valve were founded by ex-Microsoft software engineers.

    Many of the early employees of Microsoft became millionaires due to stock options, so they could afford to jump ship and do their own thing. I doubt that's true of the people being laid off.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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