Microsoft’s about to slash an estimated 3,000 jobs, mostly from its sales and customer support operations outside the U.S., as it shifts its focus to its cloud business operation.
The company today acknowledged the move, reported last week by the Puget Sound Business Journal and confirmed today by CNBC.
“Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners,” it says in a statement. “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.”
The latest layoffs come a little more than a year after Microsoft cut 1,850 jobs at the smartphone hardware business, and almost exactly two years after it cut 7,800 jobs from the Nokia phone handset business it bought in 2014 for $9.5 billion.
Microsoft shares are up 33.6% over the last 12 months as growing sales of cloud-based software on its Azure platform offset declines in its PC business.
“Azure is pretty strategic for us, not just for the attachment of high-level services in what is defined as Azure, but the all-up digital transformation opportunity,” CEO Satya Nadella told analysts in April.