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Microsoft's third 2024 layoff round hits product, program management roles

Microsoft has initiated another wave of layoffs this week, primarily affecting employees in product and programme management roles.

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Microsoft's third 2024 layoff round hits product, program management roles

Microsoft has initiated another wave of layoffs this week, primarily affecting employees in product and programme management roles. According to a report by Geekwire, this marks the third round of job cuts by the tech giant in 2024 as part of its ongoing efforts to streamline operations.

Multiple LinkedIn posts from impacted employees have confirmed that the layoffs have affected teams across various locations. However, Microsoft has not disclosed the exact number of employees laid off. A spokesperson for the company stated, “Organisational and workforce adjustments are a necessary and regular part of managing our business. We will continue to prioritise and invest in strategic growth areas for our future and in support of our customers and partners.”

Layoffs Following Fiscal Year-End

These layoffs come shortly after the conclusion of Microsoft's fiscal year 2024, which ended on June 30. It is common for the company to implement restructuring measures at the start of a new fiscal year to align with business goals and streamline operations.

Previous Layoffs in 2024

In January 2024, Microsoft laid off 2,000 employees in its gaming unit, a few months after acquiring Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $69 billion. In June 2024, the company cut approximately 1,000 jobs, including positions in the Azure cloud unit and the HoloLens mixed reality organization.

Industry-Wide Job Cuts

Microsoft is not alone in reducing its workforce; the tech industry has seen significant layoffs across multiple companies. According to Layoffs.fyi, a platform tracking tech layoffs, over 98,000 employees were laid off globally in the first half of 2024 across more than 330 companies, including major players like Google, Meta, Ola Electric, and Simpl.

Reasons Behind the Layoffs

The recent layoffs are part of Microsoft’s strategy to maintain profit margins while increasing capital expenditure to expand cloud infrastructure, essential for training and deploying AI models. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft saw a surge in its workforce. However, the employee count has stabilized, dropping from approximately 232,000 at the end of 2022 to 227,000 by the end of 2023.

Dwaipayan Bhattacharjee
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