Thursday, January 22, 2009

Microsoft Layoff 2009 - Now What?

22 January 2009: here we are at Microsoft: realigning resources and reducing costs. And laying people off. The day that has been rumored for a month now has come. And the staff reductions I've been wanting since starting this blog back in 2004 are here, though within an economic context I certainly Do Not Want. I wanted intelligent, well-thought-out leadership to have seen long ago that we've doubled our ranks far too fast and exceeded our ranks beyond what we can sustain (let alone need). Yet here we are now, in the choppy waters of the global economic crisis, being reactive rather than opportunistic.

Microsoft should be better than this.

This will start as a short post to kick off the biggest event at Microsoft that I can remember: severe cut-backs and staff reductions.

Initial coverage:

Some quick, shallow impressions:

  • Not much is getting done today and tomorrow.
  • 1,400 gone today (Who? It's a drop in the bucket) and now we have the remaining 3,600 hanging over our head during the next 18 months - what does that mean? I assume at this point that it means aggressive performance management is the rule over, and over again for each MYCD and annual review from here on.
  • No raises as part of the annual review this year.
  • No SPSA payout? No details there.
  • Travel and contingent staff cuts. Very sensible and already in progress.
  • Building expansion cut backs that Mr. Tartakoff at the Seattle P-I has already taken an early preview of.
  • An outplacement center will be established. And hey, "some of you" may find jobs internally (good luck with the rush - I do hope over this past month you're already ahead of the game if affected) and there will be a severance package for the rest.
  • The conference call this afternoon will include Steve Ballmer. And we have our Town Hall Friday morning. What questions do you hope get asked to Mr. Ballmer as part of this staffing reduction?
  • Don't go asking your manager many questions today: this is news to 99% of us.
  • Dang, sometimes anonymous comments can be truthful in what they share.

Administrivia: moderation turned off in the near term - note that I will delete:

  • Comments I wouldn't have approved in the first place.
  • Comments that quote comments I wouldn't have approved - so don't have a great comment that goes and spends a little time quoting an offensive comment because I'll have to blow the whole thing away.

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