Are the rumors true? Reports have emerged that Redmond based tech giant Microsoft is set to slash its global workforce, as the pressure of the current financial crisis takes hold.
Last month, speculation started that Microsoft was looking to cut its staff early in the New Year, with unconfirmed reports suggesting several thousands of employees would start 2009 looking for new jobs.
If the rumor mill is to be believed, the cuts will be in the vicinity of 15,000 employees – approx 17% of all Microsoft staff, and d-day was marked as the 15th Jan 2009.
With only a week or so until the anticipated day of dismissals, there has still been no official confirmation from Microsoft executives. “Regarding any potential layoffs, Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation,” said a company spokesperson via email to InternetNews.com
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, is expected to announce the start of the Windows 7 public beta next week, and quarterly earnings calls are due on Jan 22, so perhaps the timing is right for the company to announce such cost cutting measures.
If the staff cuts eventuate, it’ll be the first time Microsoft has made such significant layoffs in its history – something the company has prided itself on.
While layoffs of this magnitude are never pleasant, it is a significant statement about Microsoft’s position. Not so much that the company is in any financial risk, but more so that it’s prepared to take a hit to its pride and trim the fat to stay competitive.
For the sake of 15,000 employees, here’s hoping the cost cutting (should it happen) isn’t quite that severe. We’ll be watching closely as d-day draws closer.