Bonum Certa Men Certa

A Look at Microsoft's Uneven Layoff Patterns Around the Globe, More Likely Coming



Summary: The imbalanced Microsoft redundancies show financial thinking and journals raise questions about future redundancies

MORE LAYOFFS appear to be coming Microsoft's way, but it's truly revealing that the company strategises in a way that would anger senator Grassley. It favours inexpensive labour. Truth be told, many companies including Novell do such a thing, but this post is about Microsoft. Having spent some time browsing through the news, one would find that New Zealand's scale of Microsoft layoffs remains a secret.



Software giant Microsoft has confirmed that jobs will be cut in New Zealand.

The company would not comment on how many people would be made redundant.


Looking further up in Asia, it's only 1% who get laid off in India (5 times lower than the global estimate), which means that a lot more Microsoft employees will lose their jobs in 'expensive' countries:



Software giant Microsoft will lay off about 55 employees in India, which is one per cent of its Indian staff, as slowdown hits the sector, affecting business and profitability.


Here is a report from the Philippines and one from Singapore:

MICROSOFT'S local employees dodged the first bullet but could not escape the next, as the economic downturn continues to crimp technology spending by businesses and consumers.


No numbers are quoted there unfortunately. Compare to: Microsoft's cuts reach Triangle

Microsoft announced earlier this year that the recession would force its first mass layoffs, about 5,000 jobs. This week, the Redmond, Wash., company notified the N.C. Commerce Department that those cuts will include 55 positions at an outpost in North Raleigh.


Microsoft laid off the same number of people, namely 55 employees, in the huge nation of India (almost a billion citizens) and in one single outpost in North Raleigh. Hello, Red Hat? This is also covered here.

Microsoft cutting 55 jobs in Raleigh; Wells Fargo, American Express also cut jobs in N.C.



Three mass layoffs notices field with the North Carolina Department of Commerce last week show the continuing impact the economic recession is having on the high-tech and financial services sectors across North Carolina.


Over in the UK, Microsoft lays off more than twice as many people as in India and 5 times the rate.

5% of UK staff to go; CEO Steve Ballmer implies further job cuts may be necessary


Microsoft's special relationship with Ireland [1, 2] is showing:

Microsoft is seeking to cut 60 jobs in its Irish business, but it has also decided to create 40 new jobs here.


Are these layoffs symbolic? Regarding Microsoft's favours in Ireland (notably tax evasion) here are some new articles:



All the articles above mention Microsoft. More information about Microsoft's tax evasion can be found in [1, 2, 3].

Here is another new article: "Microsoft dishes out the pink slips. What does it mean for the rest of us?"

More Microsoft layoffs may be coming, according to the following new reports from the Wall Street Journal and Business Mirror:

i. Microsoft CEO: SAP Buy Speculation a Market Rumor

On the company's move to cut staff numbers, Mr. Ballmer said Microsoft may reevaluate its plans for job cuts, suggesting that more reductions could be in store if the U.S. economic downturn worsens.


ii. US job cuts slow; worst may be over

DuPont Co. and Microsoft Corp. this week said more staff reductions may be necessary. Part of the reduction in job losses in April was due to a jump in government jobs, spurred by the hiring about 60,000 people to help in the 2010 census.


It is very easy to forget that Microsoft did the equivalent of reducing another (additional) 10% in some areas where it cut wages in addition to people. As the Washington Post has just put it:

In March, staffing agencies that work for Microsoft agreed to a 10 percent reduction in their bill rate.


The Seattle press wrote a lot about these pay cuts at the time. There were also protests. If Microsoft is as profitable as it claims to be, then why so many reductions? Both products and employees are being axed.

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