Microsoft CEO's mission statement indicates layoffs may be part of new strategy


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who assumed the reins of the company from Steve Ballmer in February, laid out his vision for the change in course he plans to implement going into the company's new fiscal year.

As reported in Tech Times, Nadella plans a transition from Microsoft as a "devices and services" company to a Web and mobile-focused "productivity and platform" company.

There were plenty of read-between-the-lines components of the e-mail that seemed to hint at personnel changes and/or reductions coming down the pike.

As further fodder for the rumor mill, it is end of the company's fiscal year, a season in which layoff speculation usually perks up around Microsoft (and most other companies). And if that's not enough, and don't you think it ought to be, there are 25,000 new employees from the recently acquired Nokia mobile division to absorb into the corporate Borg.

Throw in a new CEO who, like most big cigars, wants to be a mover and shaker and the result is angst stew now being served in the employee cafeteria.

Microsoft employs approximately 127,000 people worldwide. Right off the bat, it is easy to see that there will be redundancies in the Nokia and Windows Phone groups and, of course, in the department of redundancies department.

What clues can we ascertain from Nadella's e-mail about planned staff reductions?

First of all, it seems that the Xbox people are safe. Although the famous game platform at first blush would seem to be sideways to the remainder of the Microsoft portfolio, Nadella clearly gave it a pat on the back in his e-mail.

"The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent in a mobile-first world, is gaming. We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox," wrote Nadella.

Then there's this, a classic example of corporate foreshadowing: "Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture to deliver on this core strategy. Organizations will change. Mergers and acquisitions will occur. Job responsibilities will evolve."

Engineers and science guys will take note of this: "We will streamline the engineering process and reduce the amount of time and energy it takes to get things done. You can expect to have fewer processes but more focused and measurable outcomes. You will see fewer people get involved in decisions and more emphasis on accountability."

Nadella closes with comments about finding ways to simplify, move faster, efficiency, building a flatter organization and developing leaner business processes. 

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