Microsoft reportedly plans to lay off thousands of workers in pivot to cloud

Microsoft is planning to lay off thousands of workers worldwide to restructure its sales workforce, according to TechCrunch.

The restructuring will merge its enterprise customer unit and one or more of its divisions and is expected to be announced in the coming week, according to an anonymous source cited by TechCrunch.

Microsoft will be cutting and reorganizing its workforce to focus them on selling more cloud software, Bloomberg reported last month. For years, the sales divisions have been focused on selling computers and other hardware products.

The timing is likely because July is the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year, according to TechCrunch.

The impending shake-up may be the result of executive changes within the past year. Executives Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois took charge of Microsoft’s sales and marketing divisions after COO Kevin Turner left the Redmond, Washington-based company after 11 years on the job.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella carved up Turner’s responsibilities after his departure. Althoff is in charge of the company’s worldwide commercial and government sales, and Courtois of its sales-focused subsidiaries.

Althoff said in an interview with the Seattle Times last year that he wanted to pivot Microsoft into focusing first on Azure, its cloud computing platform, over other older services.

“It was a flawed strategy to try to sell Azure like, ‘Do you want fries with that?’ ”said Althoff. “But it isn’t our approach today.”

Photo: The French headquarters of Microsoft in Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris, on April 15, 2017. Microsoft may be laying off thousands of workers around the world as it shifts focus of its sales approach to cloud software rather than hardware. (Raphael Satter/AP)


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