Microsoft became the latest tech giant to lay off hundreds of its employees on Tuesday ahead of its quarterly earnings and amid growing economic uncertainty. The move, the company said, is in a bid to "realign" groups and roles after the close of its fiscal year on June 30, even as the company intends to grow its headcount in the coming months.
The job cuts will be across the board and across the globe but will affect only a small portion of its total workforce. Microsoft's fiscal year 2023 began on July 1st. Although the firm has not yet provided a particular date, the Redmond, Washington-based computer giant is expected to release its financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter and the entire fiscal year 2022 later this month.
Axed from Microsoft
The tech giant said that the layoffs will affect less than 1% of its 180,000 employees worldwide. The teams affected by the layoffs, which include customer and partner solutions and consulting. This was first reported by Bloomberg.
However, it will not follow any discernible patterns in terms of region or product division. "Today we had a small number of role eliminations. Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly," Microsoft told Bloomberg in an emailed statement.
"This was a result of a strategic realignment, and, like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. We continue to invest in certain areas and grow headcount in the year ahead," the statement further read.
The decision follows Microsoft's announcement that recruiting in the Windows, Teams, and Office groups had slowed down, despite assurances that layoffs had not been impacted by industry headwinds.
This is the first time Microsoft has laid off its employees since 2017. Interestingly, Microsoft has in recent years laid-off employees typically after the July 4 holiday, just after it starts it fiscal year.
With a 26 percent year-over-year jump in cloud revenue and $49.4 billion in overall revenues, Microsoft reported robust third-quarter earnings. However, the business lowered its Q4 revenue and earnings guidance in the beginning of June, citing the effects of foreign exchange fluctuations.
Tech Companies Suffering
Tech stocks have been suffering since the beginning of the year that has seen a market bloodbath over the past couple of months. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is already in the bear market territory and a number of tech companies are aggressively slashing their workforce. Microsoft is the latest to do so although it claims that the decision isn't because of industry headwinds.
An estimated 30 employees were laid off by the Boston-based Snyk as part of its efforts to "handle upcoming economic challenges" and maintain long-term growth.
Developer of cybersecurity technology IronNet recently disclosed in a regulatory filing that it would let go of around 55 of its employees or about 17% of its whole workforce. OneTrust, a software company, downsized by around 950 employees, or about 25% of the business.
Recently, Oracle considered cutting costs by up to $1 billion, which might mean slashing the jobs of thousands of workers as early as August.
Last week, Twitter fired a third of its hiring staff. Over the past month, Tesla has fired hundreds of employees. Additionally, Meta groups are preparing for layoffs after reports surfaced that managers at the company were instructed to "move to exit" poor performers.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are also firing hundreds of workers as prices fall amid worries about a recession. In June, Coinbase said that it would fire roughly 1,100 workers, or 18% of its global workforce, leaving the business with about 5,000 staff members.