Job cuts enroute for Microsoft, other tech industry giants

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Some of tech's biggest and and normally safest players, including Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Sony, and Google, are trimming their workforces in a bid to lower costs and stave off a harsh economy.



Microsoft downsizes 5,000 jobs



Seattle-based Microsoft announced it will cut 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months, starting with 1,400 today.



The staff change is the first round of major layoffs in the company's almost 35-year history and comes after a disappointing quarter where its revenue grew just 2 percent year-over-year but it reported an 8 percent loss in the client division that handles its staple Office and Windows software.



"In response to the realities of a deteriorating economy, we're taking important steps to realign Microsoft's business," chief executive Steve Ballmer wrote to employees in a now public memo obtained by All Things Digital.Â* "We must make adjustments to ensure that our investments are tightly aligned with current and future revenue opportunities.Â* The current environment requires that we continue to increase our efficiency."



Microsoft will eliminate "up to" 5,000 positions in research and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal and corporate affairs, human resources, and the information technology departments, according to the memo.Â* Ballmer explains that new positions will "support key investment areas during this same period of time" for a net decline in staff of 2,000 to 3,000 over the next 18 months.



Ballmer also mentioned plans to cut travel expenditures by 20 percent and reduce spending on vendors and "contingent" staff.



Microsoft will offer job services to those laid off, some of whom will find jobs elsewhere within the company.Â* The rest will receive severance pay and other benefits.



"The decision to eliminate jobs is a very difficult one," Ballmer wrote in the memo.Â* "Our people are the foundation of everything we have achieved and we place the highest value on the commitment and hard work that you have dedicated to building this company. But we believe these job eliminations are crucial to our ability to adjust the company's cost structure so that we have the resources to drive future profitable growth."



IBM cuts as many as 16,000



Meanwhile, the website of IBM's unionized workforce is awash with comments from workers who say they were the victims of layoffs at the tech giant.



[email protected]Â*is predicting as many as 16,000 job cuts based on postings from employees at its site.



An IBM spokesperson confirms that cuts are taking place, but doesn't give any exact figures.Â* If the 16,000 figure is correct, the action would represent 4 percent of the company's 400,000 worldwide workforce.



The news comes despite higher-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, sending the stock up 11.5% yesterday.



IBM is best known among Mac users for supplying G3 and G5 processors in PowerPC-based Macs but currently focuses its semiconductor efforts on specialized systems, including the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.



Intel releases 5,000, closes five plants



Just before Intel is expected to report its first quarterly loss in 22 years, the Santa Clara-based company has announced 5,000 job cuts as well as closures of five plants using older manufacturing processes than the 45 nanometer technique used for nearly all of its current lineup.



Two of the plants are in the US and are located at Santa Clara, California as well as Hillsboro, Oregon. Abroad, two of the shuttered plants are located in Penang, Malaysia while one is found in Cavite, Philippines.



In a prepared statement, the computer chip maker said the plant closings and related support function changes are expected to affect "between 5,000 and 6,000" workers.



As many as 1,000 of those workers could be offered positions at other facilities.Â* About 400 employees in the San Francisco Bay Area will be affected as a result.



Of Apple's current lineup, only the Apple TV and Mac mini use chips made on 65 nanometer or larger manufacturing processes; it's unknown whether any of these are affected by the cuts.



Sony closes two factories, cuts 2,000 jobs



Sony says it will close two television factories and cut 2,000 jobs in Japan based on both a poor economy and a very strong yen, which boosts the costs of making its electronics relative to the prices for the goods sold abroad.



It comes as the company has confirmed it will post its first annual loss in 14 years and only the second in company history.



CNET believes this is one installment of Sony's existing cost reduction plan, announced last month, which is set to lay off 8,000 full-time employees and 8,000 more contractors by 2010.



Google cuts just 100



All these new cuts accompany earlier ones made by Google, which announced 100 eliminations among its recruiters last week and has often been regarded as one of the technology industry's most aggressiveh hirers. The Mountain View-based company approaches the cuts as a slowdown rather than a reduction of its total workforce.



"Google is still hiring but at a reduced rate,"Â*the company notes in its official blog.Â* "Given the state of the economy, we recognized that we needed fewer people focused on hiring."



Apple is considered one of Google's closest partners in the computer world and uses Google technology in its touchscreen devices as well as for special components of its iLife apps, such as iMovie uploads to YouTube.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,254member
    Scary times. Let's hope Apple continue to defy the trend.
  • Reply 2 of 35
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we?



    No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), but one thing that struck me was the first cutback mentioned was R&D. It would be a shame if Microsoft finally realised that the majority of the R&D money they spend is actually money poured down the drain.



    I know most Apple supporters have been used to Microsoft just copying what Apple does, but if they actually *do* wake up and realise that they really *don't* have to spend on R&D and really *can* just copy whatever Apple did last ... well they would be much more formidable competitors.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,254member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we?



    No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), but one thing that struck me was the first cutback mentioned was R&D. It would be a shame if Microsoft finally realised that the majority of the R&D money they spend is actually money poured down the drain.



    I know most Apple supporters have been used to Microsoft just copying what Apple does, but if they actually *do* wake up and realise that they really *don't* have to spend on R&D and really *can* just copy whatever Apple did last ... well they would be much more formidable competitors.



    That old saying "The bigger they are the harder they fall ..." comes to mind.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we?



    No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), but one thing that struck me was the first cutback mentioned was R&D. It would be a shame if Microsoft finally realised that the majority of the R&D money they spend is actually money poured down the drain.



    I know most Apple supporters have been used to Microsoft just copying what Apple does, but if they actually *do* wake up and realise that they really *don't* have to spend on R&D and really *can* just copy whatever Apple did last ... well they would be much more formidable competitors.



    It is not good to hear that Microsoft is stumbling. They could decide to cut the MBU altogether. Plus those are real people losing their jobs. Anyone care for the Xbox 360 or Halo? The unemployment lines are getting deep and I don't believe this is the bottom yet.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Scary times. Let's hope Apple continue to defy the trend.



    Dont you know yet? Apple defy the trend for computers, music players, mobile phones and now.... unemployment.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    It is not good to hear that Microsoft is stumbling. They could decide to cut the MBU altogether. Plus those are real people losing their jobs. Anyone care for the Xbox 360 or Halo? The unemployment lines are getting deep and I don't believe this is the bottom yet.



    I do feel bad for those losing their jobs... but could you remind me when's the last time MBU came out with something half decent?
  • Reply 7 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Scary times. Let's hope Apple continue to defy the trend.



    Hmmmm.... I dare say that Apple is contributing to the trend.



    Apple's envelope-pushing across a wide swathe of product-market segments seems to have Microsoft, Nokia, and Sony on the ropes. As a result, they have to price their products more aggressively, spend more on R&D and Capex and advtg/promotion to match Apple's juggernaut, all of which, no doubt is leading to their reduced market shares and margins. And, the retrenching.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ipodrulz View Post


    I do feel bad for those losing their jobs...



    I liked that sentiment... there are some rather mean-spirited posters (possibly posting from the safety of their folk's basements) on these boards. (Thankfully from now distant memory) being unemployed - esp. if you have dependents - sucks giant donkey balls! And must be even harder in a country where the unemployment benefit is limited.



    Office 2004 wasn't all that bad (apart from the way it works and at least it allows Mac users to communicate unimpeded with the great unwashed. It is far better for Apple to be a strong competitor in a strong competition than for it to become (or be seen as) a flat track bully. And for Apple to shine there has to be some credible alternative... for Order there has to be Chaos, for Good their has to be Evil.



    Enz
  • Reply 9 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by enzos View Post


    ... for Order there has to be Chaos, for Good their has to be Evil.



    Enz



    Very nicely put. I might add, for Capitalism, there has to be Bankruptcy; and for Religion, Sin.



    The eternal dialectic......
  • Reply 10 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we?



    No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), but one thing that struck me was the first cutback mentioned was R&D. It would be a shame if Microsoft finally realised that the majority of the R&D money they spend is actually money poured down the drain.



    I know most Apple supporters have been used to Microsoft just copying what Apple does, but if they actually *do* wake up and realise that they really *don't* have to spend on R&D and really *can* just copy whatever Apple did last ... well they would be much more formidable competitors.



    Your Quote:

    "No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), "



    It's more than apparent that you can't either, so please test your ignorance level before you make it public.



    At the very least, make sure you "read" your reply before you post it



    Ignorance is bliss but public ignorance is embarrassing.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we? .



    In order for that to happen they need a new executive team, and probably new VPs as well. Cultural changes have to come from the top down. The fact that the top jobs are not on the line is just another sign of how poorly MS is run; after Vista, the guillotine should have been rolled out. It wasn't.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    phongphong Posts: 219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Just before Intel is expected to report its first quarterly loss in 22 years, the Santa Clara-based company has announced 5,000 job cuts as well as closures of five plants using older manufacturing processes than the 45 nanometer technique used for nearly all of its current lineup.



    ...



    Of Apple's current lineup, only the Apple TV and Mac mini use chips made on 65 nanometer or larger manufacturing processes; it's unknown whether any of these are affected by the cuts.



    How many plants are there that use 65 nanometer?
  • Reply 13 of 35
    I am a bit puzzled by the headline of this story: 'enroute' to what?
  • Reply 14 of 35
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    I am a bit puzzled by the headline of this story: 'enroute' to what?



    That's what you call an illiteracy. 'on the way' is what is meant. Geeks should stick to little words... like 0 and 1.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    It's always good to hear that Microsoft is in trouble, but I hope it doesn't get too bad too fast. We don't really want Microsoft to "wake up" or become an efficient competitor to Apple, do we?



    No way did Balmer write that memo, (the man literally can't put a coherent sentence together), but one thing that struck me was the first cutback mentioned was R&D. It would be a shame if Microsoft finally realised that the majority of the R&D money they spend is actually money poured down the drain.



    I know most Apple supporters have been used to Microsoft just copying what Apple does, but if they actually *do* wake up and realise that they really *don't* have to spend on R&D and really *can* just copy whatever Apple did last ... well they would be much more formidable competitors.



    It's about time some of you fanboys grew up and joined the real world.



    It is never a good time for any company to be in trouble, especially one who owns the marketplace your beloved Apple plays so heavily in. How many pensions and savings plans are falling apart because of the downturn in the stock market? This affects everybody. When a company like Microsoft start putting news like this out it has ramifications across the entire industry and to their suppliers who happen to be the same people who supply Apple with their components too. Components I might add that Apple can source so cheaply because of the huge numbers built thanks in large to the PC world and Microsoft.



    Microsoft have a history of leading the way and making some outstanding products, that is why they are where they are now.



    They, like Apple are a company who's number 1 goal is to make money for their shareholders. They don't owe you anything nor do you owe them anything. They are a company who court you because of the money you can give them and that is all.



    I really do not understand this obsessive love for a company. I use Apple products, I use Microsoft products, I use them because they do a job for me. I don't get all personal about things and certainly do not take any joy in todays news.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by enzos View Post


    That's what you call an illiteracy. 'on the way' is what is meant. Geeks should stick to little words... like 0 and 1.



    So I guess it would apply for you. To say "an" illiteracy where you should have said "the author is illiterate".



    To say an illiteracy is improper use of the word in any context. So please stick to 1's & 0's in the future and stick to the subject of the rooms context.



    Let me make it more simple for you to understand, the title and your post was Illiterate. 1,0,1,0,1,0. Better for you much, me hope I helped.



    Main Entry: il·lit·er·a·cy

    Pronunciation: \\(ˌ)i(l)-ˈli-t(ə-)rə-sē\\

    Function: noun

    Inflected Form(s): plural il·lit·er·a·cies

    Date: 1660

    1: the quality or state of being illiterate ; especially : inability to read or write

    2: a mistake or crudity (as in speaking) typical of one who is illiterate
  • Reply 17 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post


    So I guess it would apply for you. To say "an" illiteracy where you should have said "the author is illiterate".



    To say an illiteracy is improper use of the word in any context. So please stick to 1's & 0's in the future and stick to the subject of the rooms context.



    Let me make it more simple for you to understand, the title and your post was Illiterate. 1,0,1,0,1,0. Better for you much, me hope I helped.



    Main Entry: il·lit·er·a·cy

    Pronunciation: \\(ˌ)i(l)-ˈli-t(ə-)rə-sē\\

    Function: noun

    Inflected Form(s): plural il·lit·er·a·cies

    Date: 1660

    1: the quality or state of being illiterate ; especially : inability to read or write

    2: a mistake or crudity (as in speaking) typical of one who is illiterate







    OldTimer, I would stick to the 1's and 0's if I was you.



    Have a look at defenition 2 below and the explain how the OP used the word incorrectly?



    Quote:

    n., pl. -cies.

    1 The condition of being unable to read and write.



    2 An error, as in writing or speech, made by or thought to be characteristic of one who is illiterate. See Usage Note at literate.



    3 The condition or quality of being ignorant or unknowledgeable in a particular subject or field: cultural illiteracy; scientific illiteracy.



  • Reply 18 of 35
    *Ouch* It's one thing for a company to shed jobs from losing market share in a competitive environment, as talented people can move horizontally to a company with growing market share; it's something entirely different, however, when competing companies shed jobs because of deteriorating industry conditions. This ripple will cut through so many industry chains: supply, R&D, manufacturing, tech support, sales.... and, across developing economies, too.... so many people....



    The economic news grows lovelier by the day
  • Reply 19 of 35
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Murphster View Post


    It's about time some of you fanboys ....

    .



    'fanboys' = "I have nothing intelligent to say."

    Try learning some more creative ad-hominem (and 21st century) phrases.
  • Reply 20 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Murphster View Post


    OldTimer, I would stick to the 1's and 0's if I was you.



    Have a look at defenition 2 below and the explain how the OP used the word incorrectly?





    Please look at definition 1.

    Pl, meaning plural.

    1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1



    You are obviously a Mac Fanboy that can’t accept being wrong so you have no 0.



    Definition 1 would imply no need to read definition 2.
Sign In or Register to comment.