Microsoft confirmed a series of rumored job cuts Thursday, mostly in sales, as part of a big reorganization.
Microsoft didn’t give specifics numbers, but the company is cutting thousands of jobs. CNBC reported the layoffs represent approximately 10 percent of Microsoft’s total salesforce. Microsoft said a significant majority of jobs expected to be eliminated are outside the U.S.
Microsoft issued the following statement about the layoffs:
Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners. Today, we are taking steps to notify some employees that their jobs are under consideration or that their positions will be eliminated. Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time-to-time, re-deployment in others.
Microsoft added that while it is cutting jobs in some areas, it is expanding in others.
Microsoft stock is down slightly Thursday morning following news of the layoffs.
Widespread rumors of layoffs in the thousands started percolating last week. That was followed by an internal memo to employees Monday detailing a shift in Microsoft’s consumer and commercial businesses and how it sells cloud services.
These changes point to a goal of focusing more intently on Microsoft’s growing cloud computing business. Microsoft’s commercial cloud run rate hit $15.2 billion during the March quarter, up from $14 billion in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, revenue in the company’s intelligent cloud group grew by 93 percent to $6.8 billion in the quarter.
Employees were reportedly speculating about potential layoffs and transfers to new positions, posting on the anonymous chat app Blind that conference rooms across the Redmond campus were booked Thursday, according to Business Insider. Many employees were set for 15-minute meetings with managers, according to the report. Approximately 25,000 Microsoft workers use the anonymous chat app.
Microsoft’s fiscal year ended on June 30, and big changes and layoff announcements have traditionally come around this time, tied to the company’s move into a new fiscal year, which started on July 1.
Last July, Microsoft cut 2,850 people from its smartphone and sales teams. For the entirety of fiscal year 2016, Microsoft cut 7,400 employees.
As of March 31, Microsoft employed 121,567 worldwide, including 45,535 in Washington state.
Editor’s note: This story has been changed to reflect the number of jobs cut.