John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Report: Microsoft May or May Not Announce Layoffs

With the economy continuing to sour and consumer tech spending slowing, speculation is running rampant that Microsoft may soon join the sad conga line of tech companies announcing layoffs. According to an unsubstantiated, poorly sourced report currently making the rounds, Redmond is steeling itself for a massive Jan. 15 staff reduction–one that would affect some 15,000 employees–about 17 percent of Microsoft’s global workforce. Quite a deep cut–if it were to happen. Though there’s not much reason to believe it will. After all, the source of the report is a site whose name begins with FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Microsoft (MSFT) has refused to comment on its claims. And, frankly, it’s difficult to see the company taking the scythe to 17 percent of worldwide operations–even in this lousy economy. “Unless Microsoft’s business has been absolutely crushed in the past two months, there is no reason for the company to suddenly cut this much cost,” writes Silicon Alley Insider’s Henry Blodget. “The only way we could see Microsoft laying off this many people is if the company decided to eliminate business units. And if Microsoft did decide to restructure its business, it would likely sell rather than shut down divisions.”

Over at Mini-Microsoft, the Redmond insiders who frequent the site’s comments are incredulous over the layoff rumors, insisting that they are baseless. Costs will be cut, they say, but they will be cut through attrition and reduction in open headcount. “For the last time folks–THERE ARE NO LAYOFFS HAPPENINGS IN JANUARY,” writes one Mini-Microsoft commenter. “Beyond Jan…well we dont have a crystal ball–but if the economy doesn’t improve and the company misses targets–it would get uglier for everyone–from no raises/no bonuses to (maybe) cutbacks/layoffs… but then, those are the rules of the game in corporate America.”

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