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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."

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

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  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Thursday July 17, 2014 @08:50AM (#47473881) Journal

    Right, right? No way would they need anyone from overseas for any upcoming jobs, no sirree. Won't see any work of any kind going to other countries, nope!

    • 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).
    • 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.

      • 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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by allquixotic (1659805)

          As eloquently said by Truxton Spangler (portrayed by Michael Cristofer) at the end of the show Rubicon (which was pulled off the air after 1 season, IMHO, because it hit too close to home for the oligarchs):

          "Do you think anyone will give a shit?"

          That's the problem. It's the boiling frog problem. Most people will downplay this move as Microsoft exiting the mobile business. But it's much more than that. It's just one more step down the ladder into tyranny.

      • by bangular (736791)
        My first thought was IBM. I'm curious, can anyone think of a company that has done these sorts of layoffs and recovered? I sure can't. They end up like IBM. Still technically a company, but surviving only on branding and legacy products.

        And for what? It'll get them a couple of quarters of phony profits to make shareholders happy, but devastate them long term. You can't attract the best of the best talent when you've announced such a layoff. Why would anyone go to a company that seems so volatile?

        The l
        • by lgw (121541)

          Most of these layoffs are around an acquisition. This is very common, and you're only hearing about it in advance from MS because they're laying off enough in the US to trigger the WARN act, or a similar law in Finland.

          MS has a bunch of people who make phones that don't sell.. Nokia has a bunch of people who make phones that don't sell. I'm guessing all the overlap will be jettisoned, along with a significant reduction to adjust to poor sales.

          So far what we've heard is constrained to the failing mobile bu

        • bangular, IBM does almost $100 billion in annual business per year, a solid $20 billion more than Microsoft. Though to be fair their profits are slightly lower. IBM is more than just surviving.
    • by cheesybagel (670288) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:51AM (#47474329)

      At least one of these stupid companies finally got around to outsourcing their CEO from India as well. It has gone full circle.

    • by clickety6 (141178) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:53AM (#47474349)
      If 12,.500 layoffs are at Nokia, then weren't most of these jobs overseas anyway, from a US viewpoint?
  • justice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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 Jason Levine (196982) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:26AM (#47474141)

      You should listen to a song on the latest Weird Al album: Mission Statement. Sung in the style of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, it's a perfect parody of those managers who love to speak in "corporate talk." Next time you go to a meeting with one of those managers, recite some of the lyrics (spoken, not sung, of course) and see whether they nod their heads in agreement.

      "We'll set a brand trajectory
      Using management philosophy
      Advance our market share vis-à-vis
      Our proven methodology
      With strong commitment to quality
      Effectively enhancing corporate synergy"

  • by i ate my neighbour (1756816) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @08:55AM (#47473915)

    The synergy will get you.

  • Translation: Slash 18K jobs, apply for 18K H-1B visas.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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? /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 @09:32AM (#47474177)

        [Posting AC because I'm talking about my own employer.]

        Bullshit. H1-Bs save employers more than enough to pay for the bureaucratic overhead of hiring them. That's a one-time cost that's easily amortized over the three or six years of the visa, and if you hire lots of H1-Bs, the process can be pretty well streamlined. You can even outsource the paperwork.

        The last time I had to hire two code monkeys, the company hired an agency in India to find H1-B candidates. We interviewed over 20 candidates, and made offers to ten. Two of them turned out to have misrepresented their work histories, we finally hired two, and the rest ran screaming the other way when they saw what we offered. It was infuriating, but the bean-counters wouldn't budge. Get people who will take what we offer or do without.

        This is what companies do. Their employees aren't their greatest asset, they're their greatest cost center. In the long term, it's stupid, but the suits don't care. They only care about this quarter's (or this week's) results. Why buy socks at Nordstrom when you can buy them at Walmart?

        • by beelsebob (529313)

          And when you had to present evidence of how much a US citizen earned doing the same job, and why the salary you were paying these guys was at least as high, how did you prove that?

          • by Raseri (812266)
            Present evidence to whom? There is no oversight of the H1-B program. What country are you from, if you don't mind my asking? (not being snarky, I'm genuinely curious)
            • by beelsebob (529313)

              Bullshit, the forms you need to fill in when you submit your H1-B application require you to provide listings of similar jobs, and how much you pay them. I'm from the UK, but I live in the US, under an H1-B, hence knowing what you have to fill in on the forms ;).

              • by Raseri (812266) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:20AM (#47474593)
                Sorry, but nobody checks any of that out, thus, there's nothing to stop any company from putting whatever they want on the form and then paying the employee much, much less. You didn't get fucked over because you're from the UK, congratulations. It's much easier to fuck over people, from third-world shitholes like India, who think $30k/yr is a lot of money.

                I hope you're enjoying your time in the colonies, anyway.
                • by godrik (1287354)

                  I am a foreign worker under H1B and currently in the process of applying for PERM. I don't know how other places are doing, but where I work (a US university) all these forms are posted on the boards of the building. They are right there for anybody to see AND complain if they think something is wrong or the position is unnecessary.

                  I know many H1B and they are not underpaid compared to the other people in the same company.

                  In this story, they are mostly firing assembly line workers from nokia it seems. Do yo

    • by Alioth (221270)

      But they are Nokia employees, the majority of which are in Finland. They don't have H-1B visas in Finland.

  • 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 Joe Gillian (3683399) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:03AM (#47473987)

    The article mentions where 12,500 of the 18,000 jobs to be cut are coming from, but doesn't account for the other 5,500 jobs. There was another article on this a few days ago that mentioned people being cut from marketing teams and people cut from the Xbox division, but I wish the article would go into more detail.

  • 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.
    • 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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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 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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          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 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.


          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 Sir_Eptishous (873977) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:39AM (#47474751) Homepage
        Most CEO's and Executive Level types are sociopaths.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I particularly like it how big companies use the same terms to get rid of a junk computer as they do to get rid of people. It is time to surplus or excess uneeded assets...

      • I particularly like it how big companies use the same terms to get rid of a junk computer as they do to get rid of people. It is time to surplus or excess uneeded assets...

        And now you should understand why they call it the Human Resources department and not Human Relations.

      • I particularly like it how big companies use the same terms to get rid of a junk computer as they do to get rid of people. It is time to surplus or excess uneeded assets...

        Just playing devils advocate here but what terms would you suggest? Take the emotion out of it for a moment. I agree that it is rather cold but its hard to argue that employees are not a type of asset to the company. The most valuable kind of asset in many ways. Not one the company owns of course but you do not have to own an asset for it to be beneficial to the company. If someone is hired by the company to do specific work and the work they perform is no longer needed, exactly how is that functionall

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          "Just playing devils advocate here but what terms would you suggest?"

          Be honest and call it what it is...

          Human resources will be renamed to "human trafficking and exploitation" so that it will be more accurate.

  • 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.

  • I can't even type that without laughing.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Probably true. The H1Bs are easier to dispose of, so the ones they are letting go will be let go first.

  • It's sad that they got bought just at the moment when Microsoft's CEO was going to change. I fully expect the new CEO to soon admit that the mobile market has been lost forever, and discard Nokia. In the end, all the Nokia saga would have been for nothing.

  • 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

  • what this says (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:22AM (#47474113)
    He might as well have written "Hey everyone, stop giving a shit about your job because you're probably fired." The same thing happened for the contracted/outsourced IT dept at the hospital where I worked. They told them 2 years in advance that they were not renewing their contract and were switching to a crew from IBM. So they stopped caring, didn't follow the dress code, outsourced internal support calls to Mexico, and their support response time rose to 3 months.
  • 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?

    • 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?

      looks a Ballmer

      Pretty bad, apparently...

    • Re:Stephen Elop (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cheesybagel (670288) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @10:03AM (#47474439)

      He ran Nokia into the ground so it could be acquired by Microsoft for peanuts. Now that he has done his job he gets the reward of a cushy job at Microsoft. I do not see anything strange here.

    • Re:Stephen Elop (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Jaime2 (824950) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:51AM (#47475355)
      KMart was run into bankruptcy 13 years ago by it's CEO and COO. I don't mean they happened to be there while something bad happened, I mean that business strategy that was chosen directly caused the bankruptcy. The COO was the one making most of the calls and his previous two jobs got rid of him when they went bankrupt (Hechinger, Big V Supermarkets). Yes, he bankrupted three companies in a row. He's still an executive. Also, when he left KMart, he wasn't really fired - he "left voluntarily" and on the way out he was given a 3 million dollar loan and a document that said he would never have to pay back that loan. They did that because they weren't allowed to give him a bonus due the whole Chapter 11 thing and they felt so bad that he was going to be out of a job and needing to live on his meager eight figure investment portfolio.
  • by sasparillascott (1267058) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:31AM (#47474169)
    With 12,500 gone from the Nokia, is there going to be anyone left at (what was formerly known as Nokia) after this? Or did Microsoft just kill off their phone division?
  • by darylb (10898) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:37AM (#47474205)

    We have buzzword BINGO in the first paragraph. Holy cow.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      We have buzzword BINGO in the first paragraph. Holy cow.

      I have yet to hear a CEO speak without winning buzzword bingo in the first few sentences.

      It's funny (and cringeworthy) because it's true.

      I honestly can't decide if they know what they say sounds absurd, or if they really think they're saying intelligible things.

      Years ago at another job, during the quarterly "Kool Aid/Rah Rah" speeches, if they were on a conference call ... people openly played buzzword bingo in the meeting room. With HR in the room.


      • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:05AM (#47474961)

        I think in this case, it's to avoid lawsuits. "Buzzword Bingo" speeches are made specifically to be as vague and neutral as possible so that there's zero chance of a discrimination lawsuit from someone who gets laid off as a result of these job cuts. A friend of mine just recently showed me a good example of why executives do this. His company went through a round of layoffs, and his was one of the jobs that was cut. Rather than simply use CEO-speak and lay him off, they fired him in an attempt to dodge paying him unemployment benefits - they claimed he was sleeping on the job, but none of the statements the managers there gave to the unemployment office matched up. He brought this up in an appeal to the unemployment office, and they awarded him benefits because they saw through the company's BS.

        Outside of that, though? I think it's a Jungian thing. The CEOs think that successful CEOs speak in buzzwords all the time, so they form their own CEO persona and start acting like that because they want to be successful as well. What they probably don't realize is that the truly successful CEOs don't actually do that unless it's absolutely necessary and just assume they're doing the right thing by using buzzwords all the time. Whatever gets them promoted, I guess.

  • Ballmer: "Developers! Developers! Developers!"

    Nadella: "Synergies! Synergies! Synergies!"

  • 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 Shados (741919)

      You can be pretty sure they're not going to lay off senior engineers, unless they're closing down certain offices and said engineers don't want to relocate, and its those they have issues finding. The junior mobile app devs and the HR people? Tough luck for them.

  • by Squidlips (1206004) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:53AM (#47474351)
    MS already has a hideous management technique called "stack ranking" that killed morale ( 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 Squidlips (1206004) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:57AM (#47474385)
    The management is so bad at MS that I wonder if they have a Dead Sea effect. First there was "Stack Ranking", then the stifling of innovation, loss of market share, and now the looming huge layoffs in the next 6 months. You have to believe that all the best people have left or will leave shortly leaving just the salt. This will further stifle innovation...
  • by SonnyDog09 (1500475) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @11:46AM (#47475303)
    I used to have a sign in my cube that read "The floggings will continue until morale improves." That seems to be the Microsoft strategy.

May the bluebird of happiness twiddle your bits.