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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.

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