Microsoft cuts jobs in advertising and marketing

Microsoft this morning confirmed that it has made additional job cuts in advertising and marketing.

A Microsoft spokesman says in an email, “I can confirm that there were job eliminations today at Microsoft. Like any company, Microsoft continually evaluates its operations and works to align the business to key priorities. I can assure you we’re thinking about the exciting new opportunities that Windows 8, Xbox and Skype present for our advertising and marketing partners.”

We’re hearing separately that the job cuts number in the hundreds, with some taking place outside of marketing and advertising. The move follows the end of the company’s fiscal year on June 30, which is traditionally when Microsoft reorganizes its business units, sometimes resulting in layoffs.

Last week Microsoft announced a $6.2 billion accounting writedown related to its 2007 acquisition of the aQuantive online advertising company, acknowledging that its “expectations for future growth and profitability are lower than previous estimates” in its Online Services Division.

Those affected by the cuts include Mel Carson, a well-known digital marketing evangelist for Microsoft Advertising who posted about his layoff on his blog, noting that it wasn’t related to his performance.

Microsoft cut about 200 jobs in its marketing groups earlier this year.

  • guest

    Of all the things MS could cut, marketing doesn’t seem like the best choice, particularly since it’s so ineffective already. However I imagine layoffs will be taking place company-wide given the most recent PC growth numbers (or more accurately non-growth).

  • Wan

    Microsoft has been so poor at marketing their products, I’m not surprised this happened. In a perfect world Microsoft’s products would sell themselves, but in the real world one must build awareness with good, concrete campaigns that really tell the customer what it is Microsoft can offer. I hope that the next crew of Microsoft marketers can speak more directly to a world of customers.

    • guest

      Most of those being laid off are probably lower level grunts who aren’t being replaced with better qualified ones. Meanwhile the leaders ultimately responsible for MS’s failed marketing efforts remain. That’s accountability, MS-style.

  • guest

    Former softie here (and I’m still rooting for the company)…All I have to say is that the most senior execs with the Board’s approval continually make some bad decisions on both product direction and acquisitions/their integration into the company. How much money has the company blown on bad acquisitions and R&D in the past decade? Match this with an outdated stack-rank system and the rest of the company suffers for it every single year now. The marketers are also held hostage with an insane set of rules about privacy, contacts, company processes, shrinking budgets and executing campaigns with large agencies who clearly don’t understand the products and solutions. And now they need to lose their positions? How about aiming a lot higher with the folks who have set up this mess? It’s not enough to merely build better products or solutions than they have done in the past, the company has to be agile enough to offer better products or solutions faster than the competition to their customers. The business processes are one problem, the lack of real value prop in some of the products is another – neither are under the direct control of the marketing people losing their jobs in my view.

  • Jim Rock

    Note that the advertising group with provides advertising services for third-party clients via Bing and MSN is a different function than the marketing group which promotes MSFT products to potential customers. Their staff are the same in that they both received the shoe.