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Microsoft planning cloud-focused sales force reorganisation, layoffs likely

Tarun Mittal
4th Jul 2017
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Microsoft is planning a restructuring of its global sales force to focus on its cloud-computing products and that may result in large-scale layoffs.

With the aim to increase sales of its cloud-based products over licenses for PC and server software, Microsoft is planning a major reorganisation of its global sales force.

The change, which will be the most significant one in the company's sales division in recent years, could be announced as soon as next week and will result in several job cuts, according to media reports.

Microsoft
Credit: Hans Engbers/Shutterstock

The move seems to be the effect of a change in leadership at Microsoft's sales, marketing, and operations divisions. After long-serving COO Kevin Turner departed from the organisation last year, Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Cortois were handed control of the tech firm's largest workforce group.

Althoff has been publicly critical of the company's aging strategies to sell Azure, its on-demand processing power and data storage platform. Microsoft is making headway into the cloud services sector currently dominated by Amazon Web Services and wants to further its cause with the proposed alteration of its sales force which has typically focused on selling licensed software for PCs and servers.

Layoffs have followed the end of Microsoft's fiscal year in July in recent times. Last year, the Washington-based company announced that it would eliminate 2,850 jobs which included at least 900 employees of its sales force. In July 2015, it made 7,800 job cuts and in 2014, in Microsoft's largest-ever layoff, 18,000 employees were handed their pink slips.

However, Microsoft's workforce scenario isn't completely dire, with the company having hired around 1,000 salespeople with the experience of selling cloud-computing products in September last year. And with its expansion in the field of artificial intelligence, perhaps it will seek to increase the workforce in its tech divisions as well.

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