Saturday, January 03, 2009

Rumor: Microsoft Layoffs Coming, Maybe Not

Fudzilla has reported that Microsoft is getting ready to lay off 17% of it's staff, or nearly 15,000 employees by January 15th.

So far Fudzilla has not cited any sources, nor has there been any confirmation from any other sites around the web. Which leads to some speculation over whether or not Microsoft is actually laying anyone off.

Seattle Times technology reporter Benjamin J. Romano, says that he is skeptical of the story. In his Microsoft Pri0 blog post he states, "The author does not mention a single source for the information, anonymous or otherwise; I've not seen the site break news of this magnitude before (doesn't mean it hasn't happened); the name Fudzilla makes me think of fear, uncertainty and doubt."

According to Fudzilla MSN is expected to carrying the brunt of the layoffs. Romano says his sources have confirmed that that part of the rumor may indeed be true. According to e-mails he recieved by sources which wanted to remain anonymous, " Managers at the MSN Homepages Team were informed that all of their contract personnel were being terminated."

The decision is "due to budget cuts," the e-mail reads. The cut would impact about 180 contractors and vendors.

The Mini-Microsoft blog, which is usually a reliable source on inside-Microsoft topics, originally posted a note that substantial layoffs are coming on January 15. They have since retracted those statements now adamantly denying there are going to be any layoffs. Mini-Microsoft points to several comments from its last post which deny the rumors:

NO LAYOFFS: first, I think it's fair to give some time to comments in the last post that wanted to absolutely dismiss any sort of Microsoft layoff rumor..

For the last time folks -- THERE ARE NO LAYOFFS HAPPENINGS IN JANUARY..[...] beyond Jan...well we dont have a crystal ball -- but if the economy doesnt improve and the company misses targets -- it would get uglier for everyone -- from no raises/no bonuses to {maybe}cutbacks/layoffs... but then, those are the rules of the game in corporate America.. so for now -- enjoy your holidays, have a new year blast and then get back and work your ass off in the coming months --- for the overwhleming majority of you there -- things would be just fine!!!! PLEASE DONT PANIC!

Mini-Microsoft wraps things up taking the position that while there may have been cuts coming and the timing is right they feel those cuts may have been taken off the table. "do I think anything is going to happen January 15th? Well, it is after CES (we certainly don't want any bad news before that - though look carefully at the groups there and not there) and before quarterly results (no bad surprises delivered with results - check). But after the rather alarming attention the previous rumor-driven post got, even if something was going to happen January 15th I'd completely expect that's off the table now. Sorry, Oppenheimer & Co."

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