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Internal memo: Microsoft to cut off all ‘external staff’ after 18 months, imposing mandatory 6-month break

An internal Microsoft memo, distributed earlier today, outlines new restrictions on the company’s use of “external staff” — including a new limit on people who work on projects for Microsoft through vendors. All contingent workers will be prevented from accessing Microsoft’s buildings and network for a period of six months after every 18-month period in which they perform work for the company, according to the memo. Perhaps most notably,… Read More

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Amazon soars to nearly 110,000 employees, surpasses Microsoft for first time

Amazon’s growth shows no sign of slowing down. The company’s quarterly earnings report today shows Amazon blowing past the 100,000-employee mark with 109,800 full-time and part-time employees on its books worldwide as of Sept. 30. That’s an increase of more than 12,000 employees from the second quarter. In fact, Amazon now has a larger direct workforce… Read More

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Microsoft meeting sparks another round of Ballmer bashing

Steve Ballmer is taking it on the chin yet again this week, this time for a reportedly uninspired performance at Microsoft’s annual employee meeting. Tech bloggers are abuzz over anonymous comments on the anonymous Mini-Microsoft blog asserting that the Microsoft CEO’s appearance on stage prompted many employees to leave Safeco Field “in droves” for bathroom breaks… Read More

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Microsoft rallies ex-employees to volunteer, offers funds

At many companies, employees who leave aren’t exactly welcomed back with open arms. And certainly there have been some epic splits involving high-profile employees at Microsoft. But in general, Microsoft is big enough (literally and figuratively) to think of them as “alumni.” There’s a network for former Microsoft employees, and a non-profit foundation, as well…. Read More

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Ballmer memo: Microsoft plans unprecedented boost in employee compensation, simpler reviews

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer this morning signaled a broad set of changes in how the company’s employees are evaluated and compensated — promising to simplify its performance review process, boost its overall investment in compensation “across the board,” and shift a portion of compensation away from Microsoft stock awards to give employees more cash up… Read More

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RealNetworks huddles with (what’s left of) its employees

RealNetworks has experienced a huge shakeup over the past couple years. Its founder Rob Glaser left the CEO’s office. The company spun off or eliminated many of its traditional businesses, cutting hundreds of jobs in the process of streamlining its strategy. And just recently the company accepted the resignation of CEO Bob Kimball, after little… Read More

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Ex-Microsoft employee charged with stealing $450k from company

Federal prosecutors in Seattle have charged a former Microsoft business development director, Robert D. Curry, with three counts of wire fraud — alleging that he embezzled more than $450,000 from the company in part by fabricating Bing toolbar distribution deals and funneling the resulting payments from Microsoft through an unwitting contractor to a company that… Read More