No company ever announces job cuts by saying, “We’re scuttling thousands of jobs, and that sucks, but that’s business”. Microsoft
’s version of tap-dancing around the nasty business of layoffs is an email from CEO Satya Nadella
titled “Starting to Evolve Our Organization and Culture” wherein he announced that the company will cut some 18,000 jobs from its workforce over the next year, which is a move that we expected
Calling it “The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce”, Nadella said that many of the cuts are coming from the Nokia
Devices and Services division as the company figures out how to integrate them with Microsoft’s existing mobile people. The Nokia cuts will total about 12,500 positions from both professional areas and the factory side.
Microsoft will offer severance pay and job transition assistance to those that are being laid off. Nadella also said that part of this streamlining will include fewer layers of management as well as generally improved efficiency across the board.
One interesting note in the email is that Microsoft is planning to rebrand the Nokia X line of devices
as “Lumia” products that run Windows. That’s notable for a couple of reasons; those X devices currently run Android, so this move would ostensibly remove any Android phones from the Microsoft family. Further, it raises questions about what Microsoft is going to do with branding going forward. Will the Lumia brand live on as it has, or will the company drop that name for its higher-end devices and give it to lower-end ones?