Microsoft cutting around 200 jobs in marketing overhaul

Microsoft is proceeding with a plan to reorganize and streamline its marketing groups, and handing out pink slips starting today as part of the initiative.

We’re hearing that somewhere in the range of 200 jobs are being cut as part by the changes — not insignificant, especially for the people involved, but also nowhere near the potential figures floated in a television news report in the Seattle area this morning.

A Microsoft representative supplied this statement in response to our inquiry: “Given the rapid changes in technology and the shifts in how our customers connect with Microsoft, great marketing is more important than ever to Microsoft’s future success. We’re taking steps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our marketing, and to strengthen career paths for marketers at Microsoft. Some of these changes involved the reduction of a small percentage of marketing positions, to better align our resources with our business needs and clarify roles across the marketing function.”

The company declined to comment further.

Bloomberg News first reported the planned layoffs last month, as we noted at the time.

KOMO-TV in Seattle reported the news of the impending layoffs on air this morning, saying that Microsoft plans to reduce 60 divisions down to seven. Based on what we’re hearing, that’s not correct. Instead, the company is reducing the number of overarching marketing job categories — the common names and designations for different functional roles — by approximately that amount.

AdAge detailed the changes last month, reporting that Microsoft was shifting some responsibilities from central marketing to business groups, and seeking to eliminate redundancies. The initiative is being led by longtime Microsoft exec Chris Capossela, who assumed the role of chief marketing officer last year.

Employees whose jobs are cut are expected to receive severance and other benefits.

  • Guest

    This restructuring is being done in waves, 200 is just the initial wave.

  • sara pilger

    Strengthen career paths – by removing them. Of course that is strengthening if you look at the future for marketing at Microsoft…

  • Guest

    Kudos to Microsoft! I’m glad that someone actually watched those wretched Microsoft adverts and sacked those responsible for them.

    • Guest

      Wouldn’t the people responsible for those wretched adverts be the head of marketing for green lighting the crap produced by Crispin and Porter (among others) and Ballmer for allowing that? Both are staying. This is MS where problems don’t get dealt with, only lower level symptoms.

  • Guest

    The total number is more like 300. Majority of the lay off’s being in CMG. The real division to go should be their Business Marketing Organization (Field Marketing) – the entire org is a worthless org with the Product teams owning Marketing in their org, BMO becomes redundant and add confusion and inefficiency to the overall company’s efforts. Not to mention, the sub-par employees in BMO (Now called Operations & Management). I hope Steve acts on this. He’s well aware of the problem as it’s bought up multiple times already in the executive reviews. 

    • Guest

      “I hope Steve acts on this. He’s well aware of the problem as it’s bought up multiple times already in the executive reviews.”

      Act on it? He created it. When are Ballmer apologists going to stop making excuses about Steve fixing things and acknowledge that he broke them in the first place?

    • Anonymous

      What happens to the Field Marketing folks who transitioned to another role (by wrongful means) to escape the layoff ? I’m talking about a group of people that escaped interview process but because they have a boyfriend or girlfriend in some other team hired them and are training them to go from say Marketing to Program Management?
      Its now become disgusting that people are resorting to that to save them from being laid off and pulling strings to get their boyfriend/girlfriend fire their colleague so they can get their significant other on board.
      With all these layoffs, Microsoft is slowly becoming like Boy Scout without adult supervision. Welcome bureaucracy! 

  • Guest

    Typical MS. They’ve had a marketing problem for nearly a decade, but are only getting around to doing something about it now. Fire Ballmer. Fire the board. Start over.

  • Almost there…

    I interviewed with the core Windows marketing team back in 2008. but didn’t get the job.  Sounds like that is one of the groups being hit.  Ouch.

  • Almost there…

    I interviewed with the core Windows marketing team back in 2008. but didn’t get the job.  Sounds like that is one of the groups being hit.  Ouch.

  • Guest

    MS has a marketing department? Good to know.