Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Microsoft FY09Q3 Results

Last time we did quarterly results, it was a doooozy. Immediate layoffs for 1,400 Microsofties and sometime-in-the-next-18-months layoffs for 3,600 more. Of course, the layoffs were offset somewhat by continued crazy hiring for Live Search (should we expect a work of Shakespeare to pop out of there sometime soon, too?).

What kind of questions do you want to be asked during the conference call? Some off of the top of my head:

  • So... how's that, ah, layoff... thingy.. going?
  • Which groups and products are specifically being affected by layoffs?
  • What other cost-cutting measures are in effect?
  • What are the causes in drop of revenue and what are the expectations going forward (will Microsoft give guidance this time)?
  • What bright spots are there in profits?
  • How is gaining share going?
  • The EU seems to be pulling its leg way back for a full-on kick to Microsoft's financial groin. How does the defense against EU charges look to protect shareholder money for additional EU fines?
  • What does a financial geek have to do to get a beer at The Commons?

And you know, speaking of The Commons: I trekked over there today (meh, not the sunniest day) and I have to say it's an impressive space. I walked around admiring the scope of the project, thinking "This is what Windows built. This is what Office built." I then reflected on the irony that it's Mr. Robbie Bach's Entertainment and Devices moving into the new campus with The Commons. Windows and Office funded this extravagant place for the folks who managed to burn through $8,000,000,000USD+ on the Xbox, be shown how it's done right from Nintendo with the Wii, dash the Zune against the juggernaut iPod, and have the iPhone drop-kick WinMobile to Mars.

Microsoft Senior Leadership Team is rewarding something here moving these people into such a great place, but it's not anything that I could make sense of while I wandered the new campus...

I'll update this post later with commentary about the quarterly results. In the meantime, some of my favorite places to track insights and opinions on MSFT quarterly results:


Update: closing the loop here a little bit later than I wanted (sorry, I was bounced off the grid for a while):

Wow: have a plunge in profits and get rewarded by your stock shooting up 10%+ in one day! Sweet! And by "Sweet" I mean none of this makes a lick of sense except to look at an article like Cost-cutting saves Microsoft stock after rough 3Q and realize that the market is supposedly rewarding the stock price and recognizing appreciation for the reduction in overhead and expenditures.

So now, we must have a plan to have constant announcements about reduction of expenditures.

Announcement #1: No more Company Picnic. Ever. Next?

What would be on your short list of things to cut back on? MGX? The Company Meeting? Beer at morale events? Soda? The Company Store? Whole product groups? Your group? Yeah, I don't know how often that last one makes the list. Though I have friends who have sniffed the way the FY10 wind is blowing and are getting the hell out of groups that have spent more time talking about what they are going to do than actually doing anything or - get this - shipping something to actual customers. You know, the type of groups that make Yahoo's Carol Bartz slip in the F-bomb.

I'm surprised to learn from Ms. Fried's Company Picnic article above that The Company Meeting is still on. As much as I love the Company Meeting, it was totally dead and gone to me in my mind. Talk about the most challenging Company Meeting ever. Yes, we'll have Win7 and coming in close Office 14, along with other emerging products. But how in the world to you manage to pull off a great Company Meeting within our current environment? You have to take the big issues head-on, and part of that will be looking at the upcoming MSPoll numbers and actually sharing with Microsofties who they hell were let go as part of the layoff. And why.

The Company Picnic boggled my mind just looking at the logistical nightmare it had turned into. Tell you what: if we reduce the company size back down to something reasonable, we should bring it back. But for now, I'll be happy with my group renting space for a family morale team event at Vasa Park.


CRF: unmoderated comment thread: Microsoft FY09Q3 Results.


239 comments:

1 – 200 of 239   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

How come there is no buzz in blogosphere on MS layoffs and that too when MS is going to do one of the largest layoffs in history of the company (or maybe Puget sound history) in next 10 days?

Anonymous said...

And you know, speaking of The Commons: I trekked over there today (meh, not the sunniest day) and I have to say it's an impressive space. I walked around admiring the scope of the project, thinking "This is what Windows built. This is what Office built." I then reflected on the irony that it's Mr. Robbie Bach's Entertainment and Devices moving into the new campus with The Commons. Windows and Office funded this extravagant place for the folks who managed to burn through $8,000,000,000USD+ on the Xbox, be shown how it's done right from Nintendo with the Wii, dash the Zune against the juggernaut iPod, and have the iPhone drop-kick WinMobile to Mars.

Microsoft's Senior Leadership Team is rewarding something here moving these people into such a great place, but it's not anything that I could make sense of while I wandered the new campus...
Good point. Though going by that yardstick, SLT still screwed up by rewarding the wrong losers. MSN/Search/Adcenter people burned waaay more $ and did bupkis.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I have to take issue with "be shown how it's done right from Nintendo." I assume you are talking profits, this being the earnings post. And yes, from a pure $ perspective, Nintendo pwnd us in profits.

But I wouldn't say done right entirely. There are way too many people just not interested in what Nintendo has to offer. Way too much shovelware. Among that group (the, ugh, hardcore gamer), the Xbox has earned some dedicated fans, made the occasional inroad into Japan, driven Sony to disarray, and finally become profitable (and hopefully tomorrow we can say "still").

Anonymous said...

How come there is no buzz in blogosphere on MS layoffsUh... because layoffs are really common place in Silicon Valley. And the rest of the real world. It's not news.

Please try leaving the Puget Sounds from time to time. I know it's hard, but it'll be better for you, your product, and your customer.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind, the new campus plans got rolling quite a long time ago, before billion dollar write-offs and the two models of iPhones started outselling the countless WinMo models.

Anonymous said...

Mini

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Bach build the Office business in the first place?

Most MS employees bragging about working in 'profitable divisions' have been coasting on monopoly products that were built long before they came to MS.

Anonymous said...

May 5 now, is it? I wish they'd just get it over with. If they were trying to create a bad work environment they couldn't do a better job.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat related to layoffs and bloat . . . (and I think I commented on this several years ago on your blog).
Back in the day, when we hired Mike Sinneck from IBM to head up Global Services (a disaster--that's why most of you don't remember him) he sent out an email from "Office of Mike Sinneck". Hmm, that's funny, haven't seen an email from "Office of . . ." before. I quickly looked in the GAL and there were only a couple "Office of . . ." mailboxes. One was Mike Sinneck, the new guy from IBM bringing over his bureaucracy and the other was Jeff Raikes. Ok, Jeff has put in his time, he can have an "Office of . . ." mailbox. But Steve and Bill didn't have one--telling, in a good way.
Well, just for grins I just looked in the GAL today and the "Office of . . ." mailboxes are plentiful. Everyone creating their fiefdoms. I’m not a populist, the unwashed rabble can be dangerous, but, please, these people promoting themselves to “Office of . . .” is an unhealthy sign that we’re spending too much time on process and not enough on product.

-Office of Longterm Shareholder &
Passionate Employee

Anonymous said...

India started the game soon..
1 Dev gone in BGCOE

Anonymous said...

Totally agree on the unfairness of Entertainment moving to the new campus - while over here at one of the money-making products we're doubled up in crap offices in the older buildings. WTF?

MCSInTheField said...

Sinneck was a disaster and continues to be even after he "left". He brought in his people and a different attitude. Out went a passion for customers and technology and in came a passion for billable hours. Not that billable hours are bad, but it became a job shop and customers lost faith in what we do. Besides, we charge too much now after all the Sinneck and post Sinnect rate increases.

Anonymous said...

Most of those "Office of" aliases are from Legal, where there may be some reason to do it. (Individual vs. corporate responsibility.)

Anonymous said...

"Office Of" isn’t really bad and not as empiric as it looks from the outside. Some use them as a strategy to separate official, broad org communications from individual accounts. Not to mention, the odds that the actual person is managing the "office of" inbox is extremely low... it is almost always created for their admin or business manager to communicate from on their behalf. The few people I know with these view them as a necessary evil and don’t really think of them as status symbols although obviously there are probably some who do.

Anonymous said...

Well, just for grins I just looked in the GAL today and the "Office of . . ." mailboxes are plentiful. Everyone creating their fiefdoms. I’m not a populist, the unwashed rabble can be dangerous, but, please, these people promoting themselves to “Office of . . .” is an unhealthy sign that we’re spending too much time on process and not enough on product.If you had actually followed through and looked up the names of those "Office of..." people, you would have seen that they are almost exclusively from LCA. Last time I looked, the lawyers weren't building products (although not say to say they are not running the show :-( )

Anonymous said...

re: "Office of..." addresses. I was similarly disheartened when I bumped into someone with the title of "chief of staff." Feh.

Anonymous said...

>> I'm holding onto my badge tightly

It's a good time to "lose" it. At least you'll get to keep the bus pass for a couple of months, and something to remind you of the company where you've once done great things.

Anonymous said...

What is the most exciting product to come out of Microsoft in the past 14 years? Xbox and Xbox Live! Both are profitable and both required serious investment. How else would/will we grow? E&D deserves the new digs...after all, this division is the division that keeps Microsoft cool and relevant. Besides, have you ever been to MIL A-D, they were second class citizens for too long.

Anonymous said...

Lots of re-org and layoff rumors swirling inside of my section of Windows Core OS but so far my director, who I trust, denies them all.

Anonymous said...

There's some interesting comments in the 'unmoderated thread group'

I think mini is out of touch a bit:
1) Our group lost 7 people (ranging from 3months to 12year veterans) -- none returned.
2) Another closer group lost 5 (only 1 returned -- in LiveSearch no less...)
3) Hating on XBox should stop (see comments in unmoderated thread) and instead focus on the weekly WIMs that the oh so sacred Windows had during Vista (yeah that turned out super)

Interesting comments there also about our dividend as well. I probably could tolerate a 25% drop in the dividend. Instead of getting what ammounts to $130 extra a month in msft dividend, I'll instead get $85 -- either way I'm not crying.

Anonymous said...

So...earnings are in and MS is down for the first time ever. As a result, they will probably announce layoffs and cuts.

How about we just get rid of the guys that are really responsible for the problems and get some leaders that can move Microsoft to a new, better place. We have good products, good people....pretty crappy leaders.

Anonymous said...

Remember when 36 was the hot new building? Office got it. You been to the gorgeous Safeco campus? It's Windows' now. E&D deserves a turn.

And to the laughable whine about Windows WIMs during Vista, those date back to Win98, if not further. And they were not weekly. They also halted in the new campus.

In terms of commuting and traffic, Safeco is tops, and West campus is a nightmare. Don't envy E&D too much.

Anonymous said...

If profitability is sooo paramount, then why don't a single one of you bitch about DevDiv which has never turned a profit? Could it be because there can be non-monetary value provided by a product? I'm laughing at you armchair executives. Seriously laughing.

Anonymous said...

As far as I know coming one will hit IT badly..product groups will be mostly OK

Anonymous said...

Have been told by management that I have to take up another position, reporting to my current peer in the new financial year. I guess this is another way to force me to resign without severance pay after 10 years in MS. Guess I have no choice but to resign.

berkey said...

Most MS employees bragging about working in 'profitable divisions' have been coasting on monopoly products that were built long before they came to MS.
Berkley Water

Anonymous said...

About time for someone to speak up for the ad teams, as well. Come on people - the ad platform will become critical to our long-term success. is it taking longer to get to where we want to be? yes, but it doesn't mean we stop moving in the right direction. bureaucracy and a lack of leadership over the past couple years have delayed things, but personally I have high hopes for Qi Lu and the current dev path.

having said that, we have a lot of dead wood. cut away.

Anonymous said...

Building 36? It had the distinction of being the cheapest building Microsoft ever commissioned; least toilet and kitchen space per occupant and worst window office to indoor office ratio on campus. Other than that, a great place to work.

Anonymous said...

"As part of its earnings today, Microsoft recorded a charge of $290 million for severance related to the initial wave of layoffs and those expected in the coming months."

We are generous. That's either >200k per person already laid off or a whole lot of future ex-employees.

Anonymous said...

winmo is not moving to the new buildings. xbox and zune is. and honestly, the iphone is a nice product but they are not drop kicking our product to mars. last fiscal year we sold 5 milliion more devices than they did, and that's before 6.5 is even out there.

Anonymous said...

@MCSInTheField wake up. Your in a services org within a software company and judging by your judgment of Sinneck, I'd say you're long overdue for a change. Rather than complain, why not change something.

Anonymous said...

36 was never the hot building regardless of what anyone says. Everyone loved (and still does love) 16/17/18 a whole heck of a lot more. 36 looks like a prison on the outside, and has a puny cafe for the building size it serves. Why do you think we held the 12 ship party in that courtyard instead of in our own building? I've seen one person that literally chalks tally marks on concrete to represent the number of days he's spent in this so-called cell block.

I understand EDD has had a bad office situation for a while. However, yes, it does irritate me that as someone in core Office, this "amenity" that we spent fistfulls of cash on is further away from me than the friggin Crossroads Mall.

Anonymous said...

"Most MS employees bragging about working in 'profitable divisions' have been coasting on monopoly products that were built long before they came to MS."

OK, first of all -- why is someone who sells water filters commenting on minimsft?

Secondly, Microsoft has plenty of profitable groups that aren't Windows and Office, believe it or not. You likely don't hear about us because we make a hundred million or so, not mega-billions like the cash cows.

Anywhere else and our hundred million dollar profit is front page news.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the guesstimate
of layoffs, including temps and vendors? It is like a dark taboo.
I heard 10,000 temps/vendor gone.
Of course, factor in the job multiplier of 3 and there we are.
They better have those $2 samplers
for a bit longer.

Anonymous said...

36 was never the hot building regardless of what anyone says. Everyone loved (and still does love) 16/17/18 a whole heck of a lot more. 36 looks like a prison on the outside,I don't know how anybody could mistake 36 for a nice building. I have worked in cubicle hives that are much nicer. 36 looks like a prison on the outside AND inside. The interior decor is "exposed concrete and off-brand Ikea." It has no nice common areas (atrium, courtyard, lobby, etc.). The rectangular shape minimizes window count and natural light. The parking is poorly laid out and has speed bumps from hell. No thought went into the building other than to minimize cost. What did Office do that was bad enough to deserve this...?

Anonymous said...

why the frig don't the shareholders get rid of KT.... when a company with so much potential underdelivers by this much.... it IS down to him and the fact that any decent leaders can't take the crap and leave. Why is the answer yet another reorg & job cuts... these have been conducted so dreadfully in the C&O org....we are losing talent. meetings in glass 'collaboration' rooms in the middle of our open plan office with the axe man, finance, hr and legal and with numbers written on the glass.... really don't boost you.... it's insane and beyond anything I could have imagined.... wonder if they will delay MS poll results!

Anonymous said...

oh and we will know about the layoffs when headtrax goes offline again

Anonymous said...

"As part of its earnings today, Microsoft recorded a charge of $290 million for severance related to the initial wave of layoffs and those expected in the coming months."

We are generous. That's either >200k per person already laid off or a whole lot of future ex-employees.
Interesting point. If that number were to factor in all 5,000 of the announced layoffs and none was cut without severance (which we know is not the case), that still averages to $58k in severance per person. Unless there are some principals in that 5,000 who got much sweeter deals or the overwhelming majority had lengthy service to the company, the numbers aren't adding up.

MCSInTheField said...

To the anonymous who said @MCSInTheField wake up. Your in a services org within a software company and judging by your judgment of Sinneck, I'd say you're long overdue for a change. Rather than complain, why not change something.I have tried to though hesitantly. One guy who complained quickly found himself without a job. The real solution of course is to advocate change by voting with my feet.

Anonymous said...

Regarding WinMobile: Does anyone know how much revenue those licenses brought in this past year or quarter?

Anonymous said...

is further away from me than the friggin Crossroads Mall.

Crossroads Mall is way better (and not just because you can get a beer "anytime") so consider yourself lucky. :)

Anonymous said...

Lots of cuts happened in MSIT India yesterday. People Anticipating more. Situation tensed. People shocked and insecure. India Leadership behaving as if ignorant.

Anonymous said...

this "amenity" that we spent fistfulls of cash on is further away from me than the friggin Crossroads Mall.
What's wrong with the Crossroads Mall ? You are now complaining about a private shopping/eating center ! Something is not right inside your brain.

Anonymous said...

The Company Picnic has been cancelled for good - I can see it this year with the ecomony, but the email says it's permanent

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Good bye co picnic...

Anonymous said...

They just cancelled the company picnic.

That's a brain dead move.

Anonymous said...

Whoo Hoo!! I just got word that the company picnic was cancelled and checking the current stock price we are actually up 10.15%!!!

Wow - we must be saving a bundle by cutting the picnic!!

But now what will I have to look forward to this summer?

Anonymous said...

Time for a post on cutting the company picnic? Last year there were ~40,000 people there over 3 days. At $50/person that implies a $2 million savings. At $100/person that would be $4 million.

Has that "cutting the towels" feel to it. ;)

Anonymous said...

Building 36? It had the distinction of being the cheapest building Microsoft ever commissioned; least toilet and kitchen space per occupant and worst window office to indoor office ratio on campus. Other than that, a great place to work.Don't forget about the Garage for Midgets (don't bump your head getting out of the car), and the Decor de Concrete. It's also the worst lunchroom on campus in terms of design. Good luck just getting in the door to get in the sandwich line at 12:10PM.

On the third floor, we started writing LET ME OUT, I'M INNOCENT on the concrete walls and got told to knock it off.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain this to me? Revenue down 6%, profit down 30%. Doesn't that kind of indicate that Microsoft got a whole lot less efficient at turning revenue into profit? That is, that it got fatter?

Is there something I'm missing here?

MSS

Anonymous said...

Well - here's a thought: If a company event that has some real morale value (picnic) can be canceled then please feel free to do the same to the company meeting that is for the most part a huge cringe-fest.

Anonymous said...

I am in HR. I counted the partners in unprofitable groups. Office and Windows got the stick.

Anonymous said...

So who was cut without severance?

Anonymous said...

good riddance company picnic

Anonymous said...

They just cancelled the company picnic.

That's a brain dead move.
I dont feel one way or another about cutting picnic. But what are the odds partners are chipping in and those expensive partner retreats also got the axe?

Anonymous said...

LOL - OP here:

On the third floor, we started writing LET ME OUT, I'M INNOCENT on the concrete walls and got told to knock it off.That one brought a smile to my face; it's the reason why I stated Office is still a great place to work: the people. Can't keep a good populace down.

Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I miss:
--printed Micro News
--Micro News ads / community
--Free entrance @ Seattle Center w/Prime Card
-- Mid-Year Reviews -(w/bonuses)
-- The "old" ESPP program @ 15%

I will miss:
-- Company Picnic

I don't care about:
-- Company Meeting
-- Commute Buses

I am still thankful for:
-- Medical Benefits
-- Medical Benefits (yes twice)
-- Working with smart people
-- Casual work environment
-- Free Starbucks coffee

Yeah, things are not the same as when I started about 10 years ago. Good times can't last forever.

Remember to count your blessings and be thankful for what we still have

Anonymous said...

The Company Picnic has been cancelled for good - I can see it this year with the ecomony, but the email says it's permanent
Thoughts?
I am glad it is permanent. It was a complete waste of money. MS does not have to provide you and your families with food and entertaining every year. You can do that yourselves. It does not affect my "morale" , and should not affect yours either. SO STOP COMPLAINING.

Anonymous said...

I am glad it is permanent. It was a complete waste of money. MS does not have to provide you and your families with food and entertaining every year. You can do that yourselves. It does not affect my "morale" , and should not affect yours either. SO STOP COMPLAINING.Whatever. You don't get it. Microsoft makes a hillion jillion dollars every year. These benefits are a drop in the bucket. Microsoft used to treat its employees like rock stars, with nice holiday parties, company picnics, movie days, etc. It was great for morale and it helped everybody make great products. I never used a company towel in my life but it felt great that I COULD use the towels whenever I wanted. I only went to the picnic a couple times but it felt great that my fellow employees enjoyed it. What kind of d-----bag do you have to be to wish for other people to have their benefits cut, especially when it doesn't affect your paycheck? When Microsoft started cutting all these benefits, it made it clear that it was a numbers game and instead of a rock star I was a peon being offered cheap bribes. And that's when I quit.

Anonymous said...

No company picnic is just a weaksauce move, I suppose they could cut $3M out of partner compensation, but that would make too much sense

instead they hurt the rank and file...

Anonymous said...

Is DavidV group laid off? DavidV organizes partner boondoggle every year.

Anonymous said...

Company picnic was about 2-3 years past its usefulness so this was a smart move... it has become an overcrowded mess that isnt nearly as fun as it was even just 5 years ago. I can only imagine the money we have thrown at this problem the past few years so great to see us save that money instead.

The company meeting is a bit different... the concept is good, the execution could probably be done better. It is, afterall, the only time each year we actually get to see what Craig Mundie and Ray Ozzie think they are working on even if thier best effort produces a dry speech and prototypes that dont actually have any meat behind them.

Anonymous said...

The company picnic is a Seattle only event. The rest of Microsoft does not have picnics. We do get Holiday parties but they are not extravagant. This should have been cut years ago along with the company meeting.

You know what is not a Seattle thing? RIF's. That's right, the rest of Microsoft goes through a RIF process every July 1. Miss your number twice and you are on the list. This is the way it has been for several years. Welcome to Microsoft Seattle folks. Maybe not having a picnic will give you time to refresh your resume over the summer like the rest of us do.

Karsten said...

Now for the less informed: Competitors complain, all sides are heard, EU Antitrust Authority decides on remedies. You are expected to comply with the decision. IF you refuse to comply which only Microsoft did in the whole history of antitrust policies you are FINED. Apparently the FINE for non-compliance wasn't high enough.

Anonymous said...

In our building the sewage system explodes every couple of months. It's so dark that many carry flashlights to get to meetings. I often think as I'm going to meetings with the light from my flashlight reflecting wildly off the standing pools of sewage that a vampire is going to get me.

When I'm at my lowest (usually when I'm ankle-deep in sewage and and my flashlight batteries are low) I console myself with the fact that my office isn't in Bldg. 36.

Anonymous said...

I hear the annual review process has started. All leads are being asked to stack rank their reports. Good to know that this is the time to behave.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft prime benefits were free at seattle, then it became $3 co-pay. It was a good decision. I have witnessed people when they found a 3-d imax movie sold out, "oh I am not sure whether I will come to watch this Imax movie tomorrow, but let me anyway reserve it, in case I want too". Well that made the movie sold-out for the next day too, but with empty seats.

$3 co-payment ensures judicial use of microsoft prime benefit and I still love it to enter imax movies at, acquarium etc at $3, instead of $15.

I do not thinkif this option was considered before cancelling the picnic. They could ask for $20 per person co-payment. That way, the folks who really consider the picnic a moral boost would come in. They will not only reduce the crowd but also the picnic would cost proportional to its moral value.

Suppose it cost $100 per person, and at 40,000 attendess it becomes $4 M.

But at $20 co-payment say it becomes 10,000 attendees. The cost now falls to only $800K, while making sure that people who really enjoy attend it. And yeah, it will also discourage all those asian (and others) families to bring their extended visiting family to the picnic. The card limit on guest did not work as well, because you could ask your single friends to take your family in. But at $20 co-payment, your single friend may not even be attending the picnic.

Anonymous said...

"The company meeting is a bit different... the concept is good, the execution could probably be done better. It is, afterall, the only time each year we actually get to see what Craig Mundie and Ray Ozzie think they are working on even if thier best effort produces a dry speech and prototypes that dont actually have any meat behind them."

Ray Ozzie. Our Chief Softwar Architect. The purported "technical visionary" of our company.

How many years has he been at Microsoft now? I've never received a single broadcast e-mail from him. I haven't the slightest clue what his vision might be other than second-hand references to cloud computing.

He's an absolute non-entity on campus and has no presence among employees. I don't even care if he's inventing the future, he's a failure as a leader and should be shit canned.

Anonymous said...

Regarding this coming layoffs, is it the remaining 3600 of last 5000 or a fresh new round?

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain this to me? Revenue down 6%, profit down 30%. Doesn't that kind of indicate that Microsoft got a whole lot less efficient at turning revenue into profit? That is, that it got fatter?

Is this due to the "writedowns" of 290 million for severance and $420 million for investment losses?

Ray Ozzie

Who's Ray Ozzie? A Microsoft employee?

Anonymous said...

"Is DavidV group laid off? DavidV organizes partner boondoggle every year."

When will DavidV get laid off. That guy couldn't deliver a turd if given a gallon of stool softener. At the same time, he has no problem going out on lavish events, buying $1000 bottles of wine.

Anonymous said...

"Can someone explain this to me? Revenue down 6%, profit down 30%. Doesn't that kind of indicate that Microsoft got a whole lot less efficient at turning revenue into profit? That is, that it got fatter?"

Did you stop to consider that margins are down...that is $1 million of netbooks don't net you the same profit as $1 million of
Windows Server or other product. Discounts are also getting deeper, so it's not the efficiency, but the yield on the work done.

Anonymous said...

So when are the execs and the board going to be held accountable for the state of the company?

Anonymous said...

Those of you are still employed, I suggest you watch your backs.

I was one of the first 1400 to be laid off in January, and I'm actually pretty happy to be out of there. Haven't found the next job yet, but I'm confident it will be better than my last one in Redmond. But I know not everyone feels that way, and not everyone is so lucky.

I have a friend who was suddenly "terminated" very recently. He had been put on a "performance management program" not long ago. Less than 3 weeks later, and completely out of the blue (i.e. no subsequent feedback or hints of how things were going), he was called to an unscheduled 1:1 with his boss, told he was not meeting the performance goals, and was terminated on the spot. No two months paid (required by the WARN act if you're laid off), no COBRA, no severance package at all. He was walked to his office, grabbed his coat and only what he could carry, and was escorted out the door right there and then.

This was after working for the company for nearly 20 years.

IF he had been laid off, he would have been eligible for a big severance check, among other benefits. But they chose to just cut him loose (remember, this was less than 3 weeks after being told, out of the blue, that he wasn't meeting performance expectations and was being put on a performance management program...then just a couple weeks after that, bam - no indication that he wasn't meeting the performance plan, just instantly put out the door, with no warning). I would have assumed that if you're on a performance management plan, you get at least a few months to show progress, and I would also have expected there to be some kind of indication during that time of how things were going. But not in this case. Just show up for work one day, and surprise, you’re fired.

The cynical part of me suspects that management simply has been looking for people to cut since last fall, when the layoffs started to bubble up, and this was their most cost-effective way to do that. This is certainly a way to minimize the costs associated with layoffs. So rather than lay off someone and have to write them a big check, they found another way to dispose of this employee, and at no cost.

I can't help wondering how many other sudden, surprise terminations "for performance reasons" have been taking place here and there, and if those tend to be people who would get a fat severance check if they had been part of an official layoff. I don't know, but it sure sounds to me like my friend got shafted.

If I were still there, if I had a lot of years in service but did not enjoy a great relationship with my current manager (and skip-levels up through GM), I'd be watching my back right now.

And for those who are part of the next wave of layoffs, remember there are worse things that can happen to you. Personally, I don't miss working there at all (although if you like it there, I hope you can stay).

Good luck to you all (and be careful).

Anonymous said...

Ray Ozzie. Our Chief Softwar Architect Promotes Sirivatsa and Party for copying autopilot code. Lose money fist over head.

Anonymous said...

As part of its earnings today, Microsoft recorded a charge of $290 million for severance related to the initial wave of layoffs and those expected in the coming monthsI'm no accountant, but could this figure also include COBRA costs and UI costs?

@ MSS: I think the market just identified our bottom and is jumping back on. Intel has also self-identified their bottom.

Anonymous said...

What would be on your short list of things to cut back on?

Of the possible targets you list, I really can't say which I'd cut back on unless it were possible to show me a three-column list.

Column 1: Possible item to cut
Column 2: What that item costs MS
Column 3: Actual or intelligently guessed-at profit, direct or indirect, realized as a result of having that thing.

Otherwise it'd just be a crapshoot, in my opinion.

But I know for certain what I would cut back on if it were up to me:

1. The company's way too drawn-out and convoluted processes, and the gross duplication of effort that comes from each group needing to reinvent several wheels instead of having the right tools available for all from the outset, and
2. the excess of people needed to support those processes and tools.
Probably 1/3 of the MS's workforce could be cut if its processes and tools were streamlined intelligently. It wouldn't be easy, I know, but not doing this sooner has caused our bloat to continue growing exponentially, as you know.

Mr. or Ms. Mini, I have worked for the both the bloated, fiscally irresponsible U.S. government and for lean, mean, greased-lightening tech companies, and Microsoft so far is looking very much like the former and nothing at all like the latter.

Keep the sodas and towels and all that, I say, but cut out the red tape, bureacracy, and all that crap, and there you'd have your lean, mean, efficient customer pleasing profit making machine. (And you'd need fewer sodas and towels as a result, too.)

So I think your original battle cry still trumps any proposed cuts and sacrificed benefits here and there.

But that is an effort that would have to start at the top.

Instead of piddly cost-cutting measures, the company needs a revolution.

Anonymous said...

What would be on your short list of things to cut back on?Partners.

Anonymous said...

"I have a friend who was suddenly "terminated" very recently. He had been put on a "performance management program" not long ago. Less than 3 weeks later, and completely out of the blue (i.e. no subsequent feedback or hints of how things were going), he was called to an unscheduled 1:1 with his boss, told he was not meeting the performance goals, and was terminated on the spot. No two months paid (required by the WARN act if you're laid off), no COBRA, no severance package at all. He was walked to his office, grabbed his coat and only what he could carry, and was escorted out the door right there and then.

This was after working for the company for nearly 20 years."


Everyone should be highly suspicious of stories like this -- it happened to a friend and so it's pure hearsay, not just coming from the biased view of the person getting canned, but from a second-hand story.

Your 20year veteran friend might have actually deserved everything he got -- he could have been a nightmare that should have been fired a decade ago and someone finally got the balls to get him the fuck out the door.

There are hundreds of 20-year veterans of the company who should be summarily fired -- bravo, I say, for finally showing them the door. I've fired people just like your friend in the past who had no business working at Microsoft but had managed to stay for years -- once you put your mind to taking out the trash it can usually be done fairly quickly.

Next time make sure to keep your war stories first-person -- it does wonders for your credibility.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who was suddenly "terminated" very recently. He had been put on a "performance management program" not long ago. Less than 3 weeks later, and completely out of the blue (i.e. no subsequent feedback or hints of how things were going), he was called to an unscheduled 1:1 with his boss, told he was not meeting the performance goals, and was terminated on the spot. No two months paid (required by the WARN act if you're laid off), no COBRA, no severance package at all. He was walked to his office, grabbed his coat and only what he could carry, and was escorted out the door right there and then.Interesting, I have two friends who went through the exact same thing a week ago, one right after the other.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who was suddenly "terminated" very recently.He had been put on a "performance management program".. This was after working for the company for nearly 20 years. IF he had been laid off, he would have been eligible for a big severance check, among other benefits..This is very common. Your friend was clearly in his/her 40's or early 50's. Not exactly the profile MS likes to have - just look around. The current situation was just perfect for the manager to get rid of him/her. By putting people on performance reviews they make sure their backs are covered. Dishonest, cheap managers do this. And there are lots, lots of them. That's how they spend a great deal of their time. No wonder nothing ships on time. Do you still want your picnic?

Anonymous said...

>"What did Office do that was bad enough to deserve this...?"

It's funny that so many complain about B36.

Do you know who was very very very very hands-on in the design of the building?

It's the same VP who is very very very very hands-on when it comes to managing cost. You know, the same one who uses a netbook as his daily machine?

Yep. Sinofsky.

He's kind of quirky. I heard he once explained that he asked his managers to cut spending morale budget on "staying late dinner" to improve work/life balance.

It kind of makes sense... but...

Anonymous said...

DavidV will retire soon. Stop beating the dead horse. Nobody was there publicly beating him when Microsoft pursued his dumb idea of buying Great Plain then Navision. And what is the only "business framework" still being developed at Microsoft? The one from the small Axapta company that Navision acquired just before being taken by Microsoft. Summary: Microsoft acquired 2 large companies full of incompetent employees, all to get a framework developed by a small foreign company. Don’t even start with this excuse of “acquiring customers”. Nobody “acquires customers”, and the only remaining customers still using MBS products are probably going bankrupt right. Their more agile competitors are probably making a profit, and migrated to more flexible and yet more robust ERP systems long ago.

Regarding Ray Ozzie, I had the opinion that he was doing nothing also, until having a recent experience meeting him during the Demo Days, which were previously performed for Bill Gates. The only difference: BillG would say some exaggerations one way or another, and people would leave the demos bragging that he “loved” or “hated” their demos. However, there was little follow-up on sentences by BillG like “You should talk with Group/Person/etc.”. Meanwhile, Ray Ozzie is far less dramatic, but there is follow-up, and probably there should be even more follow-up in the future. Ray is definitely working to avoid or at least minimize Microsoft’s culture of duplicated efforts, internal competition and little focus on the customers. But that is not appreciated at Microsoft: what is appreciated is the “drama queen” behavior of making a small problem big, and then resolving it and announcing that as if you just saved the universe.

Compare what is happening within the organizations led by Ray Ozzie and the PSU (Parallel Search Universe) within Microsoft. In the PSU you have several teams doing the same thing, competing for resources, and for who has the most inflated levels. You need to be at partner level nowadays to be lead in PSU, and that org is full of ICs at the “Principal” level. Level by level, proportionally PSU is costlier than Windows, and let’s not even go into the return on investment calculations. The solution for PSU is simple: everyone with more than 2 years in PSU should be fired. That is two review cycles in which you either contributed for the culture of incompetence or did nothing to stop it, even it that was just leaving and let the many GMs (General Morons) there discover that sitting in offsite workshops won’t beat Google. What is the hope for all those 2000 morons when the company announce that it will now deliver billions to Yahoo in hope that a partnership with another incompetent company will increase Microsoft’s share of the Internet traffic?

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who was suddenly "terminated" very recently. .

If you're not a troll then your friend isn't giving you the whole story. He was fired, not laid off, so WARN does not apply (and WARN requires 500 laid off in the first place). MS cannot dodge COBRA for layoffs (it's law), for termination I am not certain if he is eligible for COBRA or not. Severance is a gift, and voluntary from MS' perspective. The way he was escorted out makes it sound more like he was fired for theft or some other abuse though. Since MS is in right to hire state, he doesn't need a performance watch to be fired in the first place, they can just can him for no reason / no benefits. So what is your friend not telling you?

Anonymous said...

IF you refuse to comply which only Microsoft did in the whole history of antitrust policies you are FINED.As one who was there, I call BS on the above statement.

MS did not refuse to comply. Our team fought hard to comply. Perhaps the company could have allocated more resources to the work. And perhaps the leaders who chose the compliance documentation format could have been more flexible in their approach, rather than focusing on an existing Microsoft standard that non-MS people would not be familiar with.

This is different from willful non-compliance. It's the same honest lack of understanding of the problem that led execs to think for years that the project would wrap in 6-12 months, while staff knew it would be going for multiple years. This is Microsoft being Microsoft, low-level managers telling execs what they want to hear and or minimizing problem scope to execs to look good, non-technical or MS inbred people making decisions based on what's easiest for them or what they most understand or what has worked for them before, etc. As I see it, it was in no way behavior unique to EU related work, or indicative of any intent to not honor the EU decision. Check out previous posts on Mini for countless examples of the same unawareness of reality on the part of upper management on an endless variety of projects.

The EU situation was no different than other situations faced by teams regularly at Microsoft, except that it wasn't hidden as an internal-only problem. Now there's a thought. Someone way up high should grab that banner and start waving it as justification for why the current org model is broken and needs to be fixed.

Oh wait. Silly me. That would mean that people could no longer claim ignorance as an excuse. That means it's unlikely to ever occur.

Anonymous said...

in reply to the comment from anonymous at Saturday, April 25, 2009 3:55:00 PM

I was terminated in a similar way. I had got a performance related e-mail from my manager and was terminated after one month without any notice. For myself i worked remotely one year at vancouver and then came to redmond on L1 visa. I had lost my job two months after joining redmond while i was still in the process of many relocation activities. Needed to leave US within a very short period of time because of visa issue. Could not returned back to vancouver because my canadian visa expired and could not search for a job in US because L1 visa did not allow me to work for another company. In brief the process of my termination was quite inhumane. Although my manager told about some performance issues but all of them were false and did not reflect reality. Performance@Microsoft really sucks when your manager is dishonest.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why I'm so upset about the company picnic. True, my kids still enjoyed it, and it was a part of our corporate heritage. It isn't really a do over of the towels---the picnic has to be at least an order of magnitude more costly than those towels, and the need for cost cutting is much greater. I think what bothers me wqas that message announcing it was from "Microsoft benefits" rather than signed by a real human being willing to take accountability for the cut. That and the insultingly half-baked commitment to replace it with something else.

Anonymous said...

Reading the earnings release –

i am not very good in finance. This is what I am reading from the release note, help me guys if I am reading it wrong.
The financial results for the third quarter ended March 31, 2009, included $290 million of severance charges related to the previously announced plan to reduce up to 5,000 positions
So assuming that around 300 got rehired from the 1400, the severance cost per person is 260 K which includes all costs like outplacement service and insurance cost.
Read this
Microsoft offers updated operating expense guidance of $26.7 billion to $26.9 billion, including severance charges, for the full year ending June 30, 2009
If you read this carefully this figure is less than .7 Billion compared to the 27.4 B declared in Jan. So this is huge because MS has to still pay another 600 M in severance pay in the last quarter assuming all 3600 will be laid off soon. So total target cost cutting is 1.1 B.
This may be the reason stock is up 10 % and will go up further. So expect lot of cuts like company picnic. There may be a salary cut announcement.

The problem is our management is focussed on short term things only. In the month of Jan, the average number of new hires in NEO was around 140 every week and management decided to lay off 5000. So there was no strategy and no outlook just knee jerk reaction. We can only reduce cost and increase profits
1. By reducing redundancy
2. Improving productivity
3. Rewarding the right people
4. Revisiting the areas we are investing
But our focus is to play with numbers and make the easy cuts rather than analyzing how we deliver software.
Also I do not see any examples where leaders lead by example on cost cutting. There is an interesting article by EX- CEO of aqunative how they survived the dot com bust by reducing expenditure at the highest level. Examples are CEO travelling by coach, pizza only parties.

Anonymous said...

Anon @8:38:00 PM suggests Microsoft needs a revolution. Revolutions happen from the bottom, not from the top. Execs don't start revolutions. And the only way low level employees at Microsoft can revolt is by leaving the company.

Anonymous said...

I do not think if this option was considered before cancelling the picnic.I think it has less to do with saving money and stiffing the rank-and-file than it does with completely crushing a small rural town with a tiny police force for two weekends out of the year. There's no other place to assemble that many people in the summer.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who was suddenly "terminated" very recently. He had been put on a "performance management program" not long ago. Less than 3 weeks later, and completely out of the blue (i.e. no subsequent feedback or hints of how things were going), he was called to an unscheduled 1:1 with his boss, told he was not meeting the performance goals, and was terminated on the spot.I'm in HR and here's who's being targeted. If you are:

- white
- male
- have maintenance medications
- have kids on insurance
- married
- are not a manager, or a bottom tier manager
- are 38-42

The cost of your insurance is being tracked, you are in the only unprotected demographic that they're not going to get sued for eliminating, and you'd better be watching your "performance" back, so you'd better start working now on your plan "B".

They can replace you with two college recruits for less.

Finally, if you suddenly stop getting good news about your performance from your manager--ANY good news, despite your performance--you're now the target.

Anonymous said...

Random Comments and Radical Thoughts:

Random Comments:
1. Goodbye to the Company Picnic - good thing to cut if you ask me.
Company Meeting - ditto - would cancel it and make it a virtual event.
2. MGX - shorten it to 2 days and cancel the huge party - MGX has become horribly boring and useless since KT took it over.
3. Senior managers (yes I'm a GM) - don't have some secret way to get rid of people. If someone was on a performance plan or not and is suddenly fired vs laid off then there is more to the story. You legally can't just fire someone without cause but you can lay them off. Difference is payout and unemployment eligibility. Usually people only get fired for breaking a law or violating a standard of business conduct item or NDA violation. Remember all those papers you signed when you started - make sure you know what they say.

Radical Thoughts:
So we're laying off all these people who will then not likely have the funds or inclination to buy our products. And they won't do much else in the economy, causing others to be laid off and not buy pcs, software, etc. and our profits will suffer further, causing more layoffs and step repeat step repeat. Eventually the economy will finish this paradigm shift (long time from now, but eventually) and all these talented people will be working for a competitor or will start companies that compete with our platforms. And they probably won't buy MSFT platforms again if they can help it.

Thinking this isn't great for MSFT long term and since we are fortunate to have a stash of cash... what if we changed the game. What if we actually stepped up and generated some good growth, brand recognition and dare I say it POSITIVE PR. Yes, it is possible. Here's how:

We have all kinds of products brewing in labs and tons of people with great ideas all over the company. So...

1. SteveB should sponsor an internal VC competition. Pitch your idea and if you "win" based on some known in advance criteria, you get funded, pick of headcount and a 3 year guarantee of jobs if you hit your planned milestones. And if your idea is a hit in the market, you get double the normal bonus or some revenue share for a period of time. Don't hit your milestones and you're gone - no questions and very VC like.

2. Take people from around the company who actually know how to launch products (technical, marketing and sales people - need them all) and give them a 3 year revenue target to "grow up" some products from labs. ditto on the hit the milestones or gone and revenue share.

So instead of laying off people, we redeploy people to go grow some business. Let's take advantage of the cash situation and get investments done to grow as the economy moves through this paradigm shift. I realize this means we'll have the same number of people on the books, but rather than having them essentially go do the same thing outside the company, what if we had them do it at MSFT so everyone wins.

SteveB, if you're listening man, you're one of very few CEOs who could pull this off at the moment. Get it rolling, announce it at MGX and give people until strat review to put together their ideas, fund it in January and get it rolling. Let's tap that old-school MSFT competitiveness and drive to win. This is a good story for Wall Street, customers who get great new innovation and employees who get to keep a great job and help the economy overall.

Now I know there will be lots of people who want to dump all over this idea. And frankly I would have been one of them a few years ago. I come most definitely from the school of manage to the P&L, always hit your numbers, do what you need to do to sure up the business, and prune resources constantly. But this economic situation is like none we've seen and it is NOT a blip, it is NOT a temporary situation - it is most definitely a paradigm shift. Let's make sure the shift isn't a funeral for us.

Anonymous said...

"I'm in HR and here's who's being targeted. If you are:

- white
- male
- have maintenance medications
- have kids on insurance
- married
- are not a manager, or a bottom tier manager
- are 38-42

The cost of your insurance is being tracked, you are in the only unprotected demographic that they're not going to get sued for eliminating, and you'd better be watching your "performance" back, so you'd better start working now on your plan "B".
"


You are a stinkin' liar -- if you're in Microsoft HR then I'm Steve Ballmer.

Your FUD smells like week-old shit.

Anonymous said...

microsoft is DUMB, i will sink with it i guess.
Anyways how foolish is this
1. Layoff people give them huge $$$ as severance.
2. Hire them again !!

Question - Are those who got rehired supposed to return their severance ? If not being a shareholder i am annoyed and i want to know why is microsoft trying to fool people, it should announce larger dividends i guess its enough of fooling the market.

If you are cost cutting be sincere in it and dont do it just to show the market and keep the stock at good levels, that is like a waiting crash.

Anonymous said...

Knee-jerk reactions, a little bit? Denial isn't just a river....

I posted the story about a friend being suddenly terminated. I can only laugh at those who immediately call me a troll, deny such things happen, and protest that there's something more sinister that must have been involved, or else he would never have been given the bums rush.

Take off the blinders, put down the pitcher of koolaide. It happened. It did not happen to me (as I said, very clearly -- go read the post), I was laid off in January, and am not sad to be gone). My friend, however, was pretty shocked. It just hit from out of the blue. Yes, he had been put on a perf improvemnet program, but only a couple weeks before, and he had expected to have some time to get things turned around, and expected some feedback about whether or not he was tracking to meet the goals. Instead, after what seeemed a very short time, it was just one day you come in, and wham, you're out the door, just like that. If you don't believe it there's nothing I can say to convince you.

The remarks from the person who purportedly works in HR are very close to the mark (most of the items on your list apply to him). I have no way of knowing if this is true, but there's something everyone should remember: Microsoft is a business. They're here to make a profit, and they will do whatever they decide is in their best interests. If that means throwing you or your grandmother under the bus, then that's what they're going to do. Anyone who believes that they are here to take care of their employees is a fool. But I think it's only natural for someone who has worked there a long time to buy in to the "Microsoft cares" line and take it to heart. Of course, that's naive. My friend who was recently terminated never liked it when I said things like that.

Good luck to those who remain. I'm guessing it's probably not a lot of fun there right now.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft doesn't need some kind of fancy new VC incubation management strategy. It needs product design rock stars like Steve Jobs who have the customer insight and authority to ship products that delight users.

Look at what people like about the Mac. When a Mac is asleep, the power light fades on and off. Shit like that. People LOVE that. Who at Microsoft is in charge of making cool shit? Nobody. You know Ray Ozzie isn't working on power light blinking. Microsoft needs to get its shit together and appoint somebody to be in charge of making customers happy. The current executives don't even seem to realize that this is a possibility.

Anonymous said...

SteveB should sponsor an internal VC competition. Pitch your idea and if you "win" based on some known in advance criteria, you get funded, pick of headcount and a 3 year guarantee of jobs if you hit your planned milestones. And if your idea is a hit in the market, you get double the normal bonus or some revenue share for a period of time. Don't hit your milestones and you're gone - no questions and very VC like.

You're a GM and all you can come up with is that "VC" idea that we've already seen a million times in Mini's comments. Why would somebody who has a viable idea pitch it to Ballmer when all they can hope for is a souped up bonus or some worthless MSFT shares? Theyre better off striking a deal with a real VC.

Plus given MS's track record with acquisitions (ROI is negative on all acquisitions made under Steveb) why would it go any better with those internal projects? The second one of those proves to have any potential the usual vultures would descend and ruin it by imposing business strategies aimed at protecting the established monopolies rather than making the new product a success.

Anonymous said...

"The remarks from the person who purportedly works in HR are very close to the mark (most of the items on your list apply to him). I have no way of knowing if this is true, but there's something everyone should remember: Microsoft is a business. They're here to make a profit, and they will do whatever they decide is in their best interests. If that means throwing you or your grandmother under the bus, then that's what they're going to do. Anyone who believes that they are here to take care of their employees is a fool. But I think it's only natural for someone who has worked there a long time to buy in to the "Microsoft cares" line and take it to heart. Of course, that's naive. My friend who was recently terminated never liked it when I said things like that."No, the remarks from the troll pretending to be from HR are most definitely NOT on the mark.

Microsoft will throw your grandmother under the bus only if the risk of them being caught is low, and the penalty for being caught is less than the reward for the transgression. There is exactly zero chance that Microsoft would have a formal policy that targeted employees based on age, medical benefit usage, etc. -- the damage done when that policy would inevitably leak to the press would be difficult to recover from.

Look people -- Microsoft is many things, but it's not so effing stupid that it's going to target protected classes of workers for layoffs to save a few bucks. Let's stick to slamming the company for shit that isn't some conspiracy theorist's wet dream.

Anonymous said...

Sunday, April 26, 2009 10:59:00 AM claims to be a GM.

Then comes up with an idea that is already implemented, called SBA (Small Business Accelerator) and that he, at GM level, doesn't know about?

And here am I thinking about the worst option: maybe he is really a GM, and this shows the level of (mis)information of those leading the company...

Anonymous said...

I have an easy and automated way to mark who should be considered for lay offs. If someone is in meetings X% or more of their average day (IC level), they arent getting any real work done.

Anonymous said...

"As part of its earnings today, Microsoft recorded a charge of $290 million for severance related to the initial wave of layoffs and those expected in the coming months."

We are generous. That's either >200k per person already laid off or a whole lot of future ex-employees
The 10-Q said this charge is for the 1,200 laid off AND the 3,400 that Microsoft expects to be laid off by June 30 2010. (Note that the total is short of the 5k announced.) About $63K per layoff by my math.

Can someone explain this to me? Revenue down 6%, profit down 30%. Doesn't that kind of indicate that Microsoft got a whole lot less efficient at turning revenue into profit? That is, that it got fatter?
In last year's Q3, Microsoft benefited from a one-time reduction in income tax, to 9% from its usual 25% to 32%. That was because of a settlement with the IRS over some longstanding investigation. This year, they didn't have that. Also, last year they earned $500m on investments, this year they lost $400m. That's why net income was way down. But if you look at operating income, which doesn't include taxes or investments, it went up a couple points IN SPITE of a 6% revenue drop. Wall Street took that to mean that Microsoft is cutting costs more aggressively than they expected, which is why the stock went up. (You have to back out legal charges as well--last year they had a huge fine from the EU--but even when you do that, the news was apparently still good.)

Anonymous said...

It's not that there is a formal policy to target white males of a certain age for lay offs. It's that it is easier to lay off non-protected classes of people. This is explained in the very first management training you get at MS.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft doesn't need some kind of fancy new VC incubation management strategy. It needs product design rock stars like Steve Jobs who have the customer insight and authority to ship products that delight users.I agree, but how do you realistically pitch a new product or idea at MS if you're not already a partner/VP? Heck I have great ideas about the product I already work on and nobody will listen. I also have great constructive criticism about things we are changing, but nobody listens. Then our support alias starts getting flooded with messages by people who are saying the exact same things I did.

The problem here is that there is no regard for fresh ideas from fresh faces. You have to earn your respect not with good ideas, but with longevity. It's pretty dumb to me that you have to be here for 10+ years for anybody to take your ideas seriously.

Anonymous said...

Some random responses, use some or all if you like, Mini.

- $290 million for severance: The January 1400 weren't the only RIFs last year. There were several that were the result of pathetic exec decisions (yes, KT should be burned at the stake), not economy.

- LET ME OUT, I'M INNOCENT in 36: OMFG, that's BRILLIANT!

- Company picnic: like the company meetings of years gone by, they used to be cool, but it's been watered down so much now as we've grown that few really care. Last one I went to was the Olympics theme (either 96 or 98). That one was great!


The SLT is flying us right into the ground at full throttle, no doubt. Realistically, it's not changing anytime soon. If you still have a badge, do what you have to do to hang on to it until things get better. Rats that leave a sinking ship end up drowning in open water anyway.

From one who has seen both sides: If you're lucky enough to still be employed, seriously, count your blessings. The stress of working for a moron is better than the stress of not working at all.

Anonymous said...

...There is exactly zero chance that Microsoft would have a formal policy that targeted employees based on age, medical benefit usage,etc. ...Look people -- Microsoft is many things, but it's not so effing stupid that it's going to target protected classes of workers for layoffs to save a few bucks.No need for 'formal policy'. You're are either too naive or just joined the workforce. Read the book: "Corporate Confidential" by Cynthia Saphiro , http://www.amazon.com/Corporate-Confidential-Secrets-Company-Know/dp/0312337361

Anonymous said...

The sweet stench of failure. If SLT had any self-respect they'd resign. Even die-hard supporters must be running out of excuses for leaving the current team in place following that report. And gotta love the message sent by not buying back any stock during the quarter. There's a strong show of confidence in the future. SLT = Epic Fail.

Anonymous said...

Our company is hiring; we're a Redmond-based high-tech company looking for technical, finance and marketing positions. www.concur.com

Anonymous said...

We're hearing rumors of an official - but yet secret - communication from the top management on May 4th. Anyone else heard about this one?

I guess it's not going to be good news.

Anonymous said...

"Companies and stockholders like growth, though. Much of Microsoft's focus on growth has been to develop products and services to enter new markets. This is the kind of successful innovation that Microsoft is lacking. I'm not faulting Microsoft for trying things and failing at some of them; that's the nature of business. Not every idea turns out to be as great as it seemed in the strategy and planning meetings. At some point, though, there need to be some successes.

Microsoft's track record on new-market innovation has been dismal. In music players, they fumbled around with PlaysForSure and Zune while Apple sewed up the market. Nearly every aspect of their Internet strategy has languished or outright failed while Google has used this decade to grab an incredible lead. Netbooks caught Microsoft flat-footed as they designed Vista for big powerful PCs with wide-screen displays. Microsoft made some good early headway into the smartphone market with Windows Mobile, but Apple's iPhone showed the weaknesses of Microsoft's offering.

Microsoft's XBox business is an example of market share success. However, it's taken an investment of more than $4 billion so far. The business went briefly into the black for a couple of quarters last year, but this most recent quarter saw the XBox division back in negative territory. Yes, they are slugging it out there with Sony and Nintendo, but remember that Nintendo has been very profitable with the Wii. It is likely to be a long time before Microsoft crawls out of that XBox money pit. At least they have something to show for it though.

The innovation problem in my view is not due to a lack of money or technical talent. Microsoft's war chest is huge, they invest heavily in R&D, and their staff is smart. That leaves the issue of leadership and management. Maybe innovation is being sabotaged by too many vested interests at Microsoft, or perhaps the company just has the wrong people in leadership positions. Whatever the problem, it's real"
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2009/04/microsoft_produ.html

Anonymous said...

Microsoft's Model Is Not Working Anymore

Anonymous said...

--Look at what people like about the Mac. When a Mac is asleep, the power light fades on and off.--

That "snoring" light is... in the firmware. If you run Windows on a Mac, and you close the lid, the light snores just like OS X.

HOWEVER, I totally agree with your message... we need to think cool

Anonymous said...

RE: Our company is hiring; we're a Redmond-based high-tech company looking for technical, finance and marketing positions. www.concur.com...with all the technical positions in Prague (as in Europe).

The shape of things to come.

Anonymous said...

Nonsense. People inside MS with breakthrough ideas should not look to SBA to help them. The SBA unit has strictly enforced rules that only permit funding of ideas that are both completely pie in the sky as well as guaranteed never to break even. Only the most asinine ideas will be accepted for consideration.

The people who know what SBA's full project list is are nodding solemnly in agreement right now.

Anonymous said...

"--Look at what people like about the Mac. When a Mac is asleep, the power light fades on and off.--

That "snoring" light is... in the firmware. If you run Windows on a Mac, and you close the lid, the light snores just like OS X.

HOWEVER, I totally agree with your message... we need to think cool
I don't understand your point -- Mac is the hardware, the firmware and the OS, and so a Mac is a Mac is a Mac. Someone running windows on Mac hardware and Mac firmware is still having an Apple experience.

Anonymous said...

The innovation problem at Microsoft, in my view, are caused by:

1. Leadership only knows to follow the crowd.

2. Mid-management is "committee" and "process" savy.

3. Actual developers do not really have entrepreneurship in them.

4. The Seattle culture in general. How many times do you walk into a starbucks and find people to discuss business plans..

Crandrea Group said...

The activist campaign concerning Microsoft has gained additional attention. There was a recent article regarding an interview in British magazine PC Plus. There was also an article with infoworld located at http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/increased-rd-spending-vital-software-industry-707

The campaign conducted analysis of Microsoft problems. It developed potential solutions and then utilized former and current Microsoft employees to revise the "New Strategy".

There is a comment on Mini from a proposed GM stating " a internal VC" program. This campaign has the "New Strategy" that is required. It addresses leadership, R&D spending, improving innovation and effeciency, improving image, increasing share in online and handheld sectors.

Refer to http://thecrandreagoupr.blogspot.com

Review and consider the "New Strategy" that was edited and revised by other employees.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

There is exactly zero chance that Microsoft would have a formal policy that targeted employees based on age, medical benefit usage, etc. -- the damage done when that policy would inevitably leak to the press would be difficult to recover from.The protection of age discrimination legislation kicks in after age 41 so getting rid of you before that age is less risky. The person claiming to be from HR got the age range about right. As you get older, if you stay in the same product group, you get more of the work to support multiple versions of your product (e.g. fixing bugs and the associated work - debugging, code reviews, test suites before checkin, etc.), have more family responsibilities, etc., your time to spend on upgrading your skills is just less if you don't change jobs internally often enough. Hiring someone younger with updated skills becomes more attractive.

Try proving you got fired because you had a medical accommodation (e.g psychiatric). They can manufacture some vague performance problem that would be difficult to disprove. Unless you sued, you could not get access to the information to correlate medication or medical accommodation with being fired. As an employee, you don't have a business reason to get access to that data.

The chance they would have a formal policy not written down anywhere is greater than zero.

If they don't appreciate your skill set, it is better to move on anyway.

Anonymous said...

SteveB should sponsor an internal VC competition. Pitch your idea and if you "win" based on some known in advance criteria, you get funded, pick of headcount and a 3 year guarantee of jobs if you hit your planned milestones. And if your idea is a hit in the market, you get double the normal bonus or some revenue share for a period of time. Don't hit your milestones and you're gone - no questions and very VC like.The had a program like that when I worked there. Do an internal web search. It might still be there.

If I had a good idea, I wouldn't give it away for a bonus and a small salary bump. Like someone else said, pitch it to a real VC firm.

Anonymous said...

That leaves the issue of leadership and management. Maybe innovation is being sabotaged by too many vested interests at Microsoft, or perhaps the company just has the wrong people in leadership positions.Touche... I can speak of the India leadership team... Bunch of pusillanimous hypocrites with Ivy League pedigree. Perhaps a reflection on the intellect and abilities of those higher up in the pecking order, who hired them.

Anonymous said...

"When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data. Data in your favor? Ok, launch it. Data shows negative effects? Back to the drawing board. And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions.


Yes, it's true that a team at Google couldn't decide between two blues, so they're testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can't operate in an environment like that. I've grown tired of debating such miniscule design decisions. There are more exciting design problems in this world to tackle.
"

link - http://valleywag.gawker.com/5177144/googles-data-fetish-drives-away-its-top-designer

Too bad we can't snap up anyone who thinks like this.

Anonymous said...

I agree, but how do you realistically pitch a new product or idea at MS if you're not already a partner/VP? Heck I have great ideas about the product I already work on and nobody will listen....
Hence the authority part. Nobody in the entire company has the authority to call bullshit on a flawed user experience. Bill Gates was the only person willing and able to do that and later on in his career even he became powerless over the company:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/141821.asp

Anonymous said...

May 5 is going to be another round of layoffs. You won't know if it'll be hitting you, so take some time to do Drs appointments and corporate related private business before you might be shown the door. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

People on this blog are saying May 5 will be another round of layoffs...?? How dumb would that be? That is the date that Microsoft is supposedly releasing the Win7 RC to the public.
"Today, Microsoft released the much anticipated Win7 to the public domain. Everyone loves it and the analysts are singing praises about it's speed and functionality. Oh...and by the way, Microsoft laid off a shitload of employees today also."
Right...

Anonymous said...

"We're hearing rumors of an official - but yet secret - communication from the top management on May 4th. Anyone else heard about this one?"

SteveB is going to "spend more time with his family"?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of deadbeats in my department who should be laid off, but I doubt that will ever happen because most of them are well connected with the directors. That’s why layoffs should be conducted top-down. You need to take out the generals before going after the foot soldiers.

Anonymous said...

Correction

THE RAY OZZIE MODEL IS NOT WORKING ANYMORE.

Next

Anonymous said...

In the know:

1) May 5 is the date. It was chosen long before the Win7 RC date.

2) It will be big. Very few people know how big (LisaB?). Might be 5-6K.

3) $58K per EE severance cost is not abnormal. The employee doesn't see all that -- there are legal costs, health insurance, stock option acceleration, etc.

4) If you're being managed out for performance reasons, you don't just hear out of the blue after 3 weeks. There is a documented process and HR/legal makes sure managers follow it to the T. It doesn't mean you won't get managed out if they decide that you're under-performing, but it means you do get more than 3 weeks. Now, if you get caught boning the admin in the server room, that's a different situation.

5) The EU are a bunch of boogerheads and have it in for Microsoft. We can't win against them, except maybe with swine flu

6) My laptop's power light fades in/out when it's asleep. So did my old laptop. And my old old one. (not Macs)

Anonymous said...

mass layoff is going on in MSIT india..
They are firing guys in 15 minutes with 1 & half month penny..Fuck off
100,s of will be fired today..
the porno Smrithi and Nagendra are the best fucking guys today.

Anonymous said...

The Biggest problem is how an Indian lyoff guy will survive, they are asking for resignation in 15 minutes and giving 45 days salary..

Penny in the penny.. even if you do all your hard luck they are listeneing to nothing.. there must be a drive which should make people aware of this fraudest company ever and people in group should take legal action against these bastards..

You hire a guy aftre a month of interview and fire him in 15 minutes..

son of the beach how you major the performance..

why not this basatard Manager's are getting fired..?

Anonymous said...

It is ironical that all this while we were concerned about jobs moving to India or China due to current mayhem.... Guess what... folks in India are scared to death. I checked out some folks out there in MSIT and they talk about colleagues shown the door in minutes... the worse part is that they were kicked on the name performance or lack of budget in coming year... looks like cheap move to save few dollars in severence!!!... i wonder whether it is SLT (read Tony/KT) guiding them or Indian big bossess going out of the way to please their lords!!

Current news from that side of world is an intimidating environment where top bossess and HR moving around with "we are upto something..."...

In all this the MS Poll result has been very favourable for leadership to save their jobs... insiders claim that the numbers are out of veiled threats and irrelevance of Poll itself in minds of folks!!

With most folks hired from service industry the MS culture quotient is non-existent... if you are open and honest you can bet you are first in the list... :).. all boot-licker are happy lot... rest are adjusting...

Talking about accountability... who the hell allowed to hire so many folks in first place??? shouldn't they be shown the door first? 500 pound gorillas sit in the room while we hunt for lowly creatures to meet our numbers... cruel world!!!

Anonymous said...

"Mandatory Briefing" on Friday 5/1just came in from our GM, with all attendees in BCC.

Thinking this is either a "heads up" meeting about the layoffs for our team (which they didn't do during round one), or the actual layoff itself.

Anonymous said...

You knows what, Microsot invest in search, adcenter. More billions more profit. Xbone, Zux profit. Pink profit, windows mobile profit. Fat cuts in office and window pay for search and azure.

Anonymous said...

Is this "Mandatory Brifing" on 5/1 for Managers?

Anonymous said...

Some unsolicited advice from one of the Original 1400 laid off in January, to my friends who still work there...

I don't know if the May 1, May 4 or May 5 dates are real for the next round of layoffs, but it certainly should surprise nobody if they are. You should prepare NOW and assume that you will be a target, even if you think you are perfectly safe.

If you get laid off then or if you don't, there's nothing you can do now to influence that. Your fate was decided months ago, probably by your GM. Your manager and multiple-skip-level managers won't find out about your fate until the night before the layoff, and they will be powerless to do anything.

You should make appointments NOW for any medical or dental work you (or your family) is going to need for the forseeable future. Start cutting back on non-essential spending. Make a trip to the company store and load up on whatever you think you may want from there.

Bring in some (or a lot of) blank media and/or a portable hard drive, and start copying the things you would want (I'm not suggesting you steal code, but if you've worked there a while, surely there are projects and personal files you have stashed on your local hard drive or a network share). When the shit goes down, you may not have the time or the presence of mind to grab everything before you're shown the door (believe me, I had 2 days to clean out my stuff, and between the shock, saying goodbye to everyone, and packing up my things, I was actually quite rushed, and didn't copy all the files I wished I had).

Losing your job does really suck, but here IS life after Microsoft. If it happens to you, you will get through it, and you'll come out OK after the dust settles.

Good luck to you all.

Anonymous said...

Re: Manadatory Meeting. When our team got slashed, everyone got a "Mandatory Meeting" request via BCC.

Everyone was seen at some time that day, and there were a series of meetings at different times.

The first wave of meetings were for managers who had direct reports that were being let go. The next wave were those that were let go, and the last wave were for those who survived, letting them know the score.

Check with your co-workers to see if you have the same meeting time as they have. If you don't have a meeting time similar to those that you consider star performers, start to worry.

I believe the higher level people 63+ who were let go had individual 1:1 meetings, the rest were just herded.

Anonymous said...

Looks like May 5th is indeed the date. So, that gives you about 3 days (not counting the weekend) to get things in order:

1. See if you can clean your office before May 5th, and move all non-essential items out of there. If you're hit with a lay-off, you may not have the option of coming back the next day to get your belongings. You may just have that day (May 5th) or maybe a couple of hours at most. Best to be prepared.

2. Back-up all your personal files, print/save any other important pieces of information

3. Gather up a list of your contacts now. It's easy to find someone in GAL, but once you're gone, it will be hard to remember all the e-mails.

This one sounds like a bit of shock and awe, good luck to all and God bless.

Anonymous said...

Headtrax is offline... The next round of layoffs seem to be creeping up closer

Anonymous said...

The Biggest problem is how an Indian lyoff guy will survive, they are asking for resignation in 15 minutes and giving 45 days salary..

Penny in the penny.. even if you do all your hard luck they are listeneing to nothing.. there must be a drive which should make people aware of this fraudest company ever and people in group should take legal action against these bastards..

You hire a guy aftre a month of interview and fire him in 15 minutes..

son of the beach how you major the performance..

why not this basatard Manager's are getting fired..?
I don't want to be insensitive here, but judging from your rather poor writing comprehension skills and overall lack of command of the English language, I say not only you should be fired, but whomever hired you should be joining you.

son of the beach how you major the performance..I mean, come on....

Anonymous said...

we had a briefing today by our GPM.

they advised we were over NTE by 2 but didn't delve beyond that. This means two people are going to be axed by end of June.

the more tenured people recognized that, the junior / new to MS folks were oblivious.

Anonymous said...

"Mandatory Briefing" on Friday 5/1just came in from our GM, with all attendees in BCC.

Thinking this is either a "heads up" meeting about the layoffs for our team (which they didn't do during round one), or the actual layoff itself.
Sounds all too familiar. When it happened to me in January, everyone in the room was let go.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

"Today, Microsoft released the much anticipated Win7 to the public domain. Everyone loves it and the analysts are singing praises about it's speed and functionality. Oh...and by the way, Microsoft laid off a shitload of employees today also.".

OpEx reduction on the same day as announcing a well received product! That's a double - albeit temporary - boost for stock. Would make for a sweet near term exit point for execs. Beyond that who cares.

Anonymous said...

The next wave of layoffs is going to be big. Look at last quarter's results. They were horrendus yet Wall Street reacted positively due in large part to the aggressive cost cutting. That's all the incentive the SLT needed to crank up the layoff machine. And as long as it keeps working they will keep doing it. Of course it won't fix the underlying problems and the company will eventually start feeding on itself but layoffs are the path of least resistance and they will buy the execs enough time to figure out their next trick.

Anonymous said...

Headtrax is offline... The next round of layoffs seem to be creeping up closerBull - Headtrax is working just fine. Folks are stiring up bogus BS for their own sick enjoyment. I suggest Mini stops all further rumors about layoffs.

Besides, May 5th doesn't make sense compared to end of FY09 / start of FY10 budget.

Anonymous said...

India- Big time cut started 22' APR evening 3.30 pm IST.

Rxd IT
Bully Nagendar Vedula empire
had the maximum more than 20 people cut

Mastercrook Moorthy's disciple Mehar Zafroz also got the axe with 20 people

Sreenivas AIT & Ramkumar ExD got cut by 10 people each

totally the count is around 50 for MS IT India in 1 week, still 400-500 people are expected to get cut in another 2 weeks before steve ballmer come here for giving balls at Tech Ed India

pathetic thing is, NO NOTICE.

people are asked to quit immediately . not even allowed to go back to desk after given information. managers were made FYI jokers who had no role.

GMs were asked to sign NDA so that they were not able to disclose this even to their confidants well in advance.

HR and Security played worst role.
HR escorted everyone to door. Couple of girls literally cried due to their family situations and their dependency on jobs.

Across MS IT India, everyone is talking about the decency level, management & HR could have adapted during this exercise.

we all are confident that pregnant wife of one employee who got laid off is going to get shocked and curse Bill Gates and all his crap leaders for giving a WRONG opportunity to WRONG guys to run the organization here.

LEADERS are just following 'SAVE YOUR OWN A$$' policy. NONE IS READY TO DISCUSS.

PROBABLY THEY FORGOT ABOUT THE CULTURAL IMPACT THESE KIND OF ISSUES CAN CREATE IN INDIAN CULTURE( SHOWING OFF DOOR WITHOUT NOTICE TIME) MANDATE

WHAT INDIAN GOVERNMENT IS DOING FOR THIS ABRUBTLY LAID OFF EMPLOYEES ?

SOMEONE HAVE POLITICAL, PRESS CONNECTIONS, CAN YOU TAKE THIS TO THE NOTICE OF APPROPRIATE LABOUR DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS AND OTHER POLICITICAL PARTIES ?????

Moorthy - you're the culprit behind all these faults

None of the laid off employee's family will forgive Tony Scott, Kevin Turner also for not running the lay off show properly here

How much cost MS IT saved by letting people go on same day ?

No single employee will be accountable, loyal after this

All the old employees who are high performers and reputed for their knowledge depth are also planning to go.

some suggestions for Ravi Venkatesan/ Tony Scott to lay off...

Jayashri, now spoiling IDC EE
Murali krishna
Rosh Verma
Pinkey
Moorthy, now spoiling SMSG
Mahar Zaforz
MAEDHU KOORAPATI
Chaitanya

and all GE CLAN of STUPID STUART SCOTT

and all 100 recent unexperienced 3rd rated campus recruits along with the 50 illiterate bluff Rotation a$$ holes

Sack the above leaders and put these organizations under Ram, Sreenivas. Seasoned leaders !!!

Anonymous said...

I reckon if there are layoffs then they would be timed to avoid paying bonuses and allocating stock - so May would seem like as good a time as any.....just call me cynical ;-)

Anonymous said...

"That's all the incentive the SLT needed to crank up the layoff machine. And as long as it keeps working they will keep doing it. Of course it won't fix the underlying problems and the company will eventually start feeding on itself but layoffs are the path of least resistance and they will buy the execs enough time to figure out their next trick."

The only thing that has kept SLT in power despite a decade of moribund stock performance and being the industry fuckup is that fundamentals were generally still solid. That ended in Q2. The far worse Q3 proved that Q2 wasn't an aberration. Continued negative growth in the short term is assured, and even when the economy recovers MS is never going to see 10% annual growth again. SLT is smart enough to know what that means. Either they cut costs or they'll get cut and their gravy train ends. Guess who they're going to choose?

Anonymous said...

"I don't know if the May 1, May 4 or May 5 dates are real for the next round of layoffs, but it certainly should surprise nobody if they are. You should prepare NOW and assume that you will be a target, even if you think you are perfectly safe."In the current economic climate, everyone everywhere should be preparing for a potential layoff.


At this point random speculation about MSFT's future layoffs shouldn't be interesting to anyone. All of us should be prepared for whatever might happen over the coming months. The speculation I'm seeing here now is likely almost total FUD, but even if it isn't, everyone should be ready to be back on the open market.

Don't listen to the rumors now, just behave as if the message could come at any time.

Anonymous said...

Who should be worried? If you received a 70%/Achieved or 70%/Underperformed or received very limited stock or no merit bonus or small increase at the end of the last review performance cycle.

Why is Microsoft hiring? They are upgrading the talent across the board. The market has talent, like no other, available now given the number of layoffs across all industries. Recruiting will go after talent that is still employed, not unemployed. MS is trading in its talent v. developing its talent.

Pay particular attention at groups that have lost talent and then another job reappears at a higher or lower compensation level. The job requirements are now different.

MS is a global organization. Pay attention to layoffs in different time zones in your organization to see how your organization is downzing their TALENT.

Downsizing will occur on May 4 or May 5. It's now up to you to refill your prescriptions, grab with is important to you, etc.

Good luck 70%/Achieved!!!!! May the force be with you.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

"Besides, May 5th doesn't make sense compared to end of FY09 / start of FY10 budget"

If you knew the cycle of the business it would make perfect sense... I work in HR and in order to prevent having to actually review all the RIF'd or Layoff employees and potentially pay them a bonus for their work this past year in addition to severance you give want them gone by 6/30 which is the cutoff to be included in the annual review model. Do the math... 6-8 weeks to find a job depending on the circumstances and gone by 6/30. So yes, May 5th is about perfect timing although could be anytime next week to make the dates. I would be very confident that anything not announced broadly by next week probably won't happen until the fall and that timing actually makes no sense so i would assume wide spread cuts next week are probably it until mid FY10.

Anonymous said...

Some more suggestions from another MS1400 for people who may be impacted by the next round of layoffs

- REFINANCE your home NOW. Interest rates have never been lower. Once you're laid off, you will have a tough time refinancing without an income.

- TERMINATION AGREEMENTS - DO NOT sign any termination agreement without reviewing them with an attorney. Expect high press tactics to get you to sign.
-- You and your attorney will need to decide if a few weeks pay is worth the cost of waiving your legal rights. If you sign the termination agreement you waive your rights to due process (e.g. EEOC/ADA) and free speech

- Find out who else faces the same fate - over 40? Is"insurance consumption" a factor (e.g. personal or family medical)

Hold your head high, sadly you are not alone. We're here for you.

Anonymous said...

Clarification: are all the MSIT India layoffs vendors or FTEs? It doesn't make sense for Microsoft to layoff FTEs in India a few days before the global layoff (which is coordinated)...

Anonymous said...

headtrax is still working but the last updated date in the upper left hand corner is from two days ago. I dont think this is normal

Anonymous said...

I find it really sad that working for MS now has come down to this. Back 9 years ago, I was really really proud to be identified with MS (there were not that many of us then). Now, I just feel like a small cog in a wheel catering to an unproven walmart guy aka Kevin Turner, amongst other guys whom Mr Ballmer calls the SLT, a pompous name for a bunch of non performing, non accountable, passionless unknowns who cares more about their own pay and compensation than what MS actually delivers. I admired Jeff Raikes and when he left, I knew MS is toast. Anyone knows where he went?

Frankly I stayed for so long in MS because I used to love our products but I am now planning to quit in a month or 2. (I know some people will call me stupid given the recession blowing across the entire world but I really cannot take the internal toxic nonsense anymore) Bye Microsoft, I dont even want to hang around for your lousy layoff benefits, nor do I think my so called management (yeah hired from outside) are going to justify for that meagre sum anyway.

From the field perspective, I seriously think MS is by and large sinking deeper into oblivion.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I am too intimidated to write too much on here, although our 'leaders' are so out of touch, that they probably don't even go here. 5th May for sure. Found out casually, but my manager sending out a doc with it on, hey am only a manager of managers, so why should I know. Some of our 'leaders' are actually enjoying this, just check out their 'tweets' to see. All I can say, is that I am happy I don't work in the US. YOu cannot just sack people on the spot, consultations etc etc. What I am really enjoying though, is working on FY10 planning, without knowing whether I or my team will be here. I am holding back on the ideas for the time being. MSFT is a sinking ship anyway.. it will cling on for the mid-term at least, Windows 7 will help, but in the online space... this will go on for years... particularly when a lot of it's talent is pushed out.

Anonymous said...

You hire a guy aftre a month of interview and fire him in 15 minutes.While signing an offer letter from microsoft I had an offer from Google also and i told them no. But after that i had to wait for around 1.5 years (h1b visa issue) to start my work at microsoft. My career with microsoft is about an year and some months. I was escorted to the door within 30 minutes. And how my manager tried to prove me underperformed is another sad story. When I was escorted to the door my pain was that the process seemed to me a bit uncivilized. But at least I am happy that I have got rid of this evil place.

Anonymous said...

I just hate the AC in my cubicle :)

Anonymous said...

the whole thing is getting out of control! rumours that people will be marched out, rumours that all 20%'ers will get marched out... you actually cannot do that where you have employee protection..... we have been reduced to this pathetic terror and all by a company that makes billions... how on earth are they going to manage the PR; have they heard of social media...

Anonymous said...

May 5th certainly looks like the day. I have heard it from multiple people and the reason they it is a good date as company can add this expense to the fiscal year instead of next one which starts from July.

Anonymous said...

So does anyone know? With WARN Act 60 day notice requirements, does a May 5 layoff mean that employee is "employed" on June 30 for the purposes of bonus and therefore entitled to a bonus?

Anonymous said...

Who needs layoffs? My team is just finding ways to pressure people to outright quit, by telling them that they'll be let go in the next couple of months. Some of them are great performers that just don't kiss enough butt.

Anonymous said...

What's the scoop - word at RedWest is that the remaining layoffs are going down 5/5/2009. Cinco de Mayo is going to suck.

Anonymous said...

Scoop on layoffs - its going down Cinco De Mayo. 20%-30% happening over sales and marketing over at MSN.

Anonymous said...

India cuts are True and the immediate termination notice is also 200% True.

From Tony Scott, CIO, VP-MSIT mail dated 4/24 about Q3 update.

MSIT results for Q3 were $26.5m or 8.3% under Mid-Year Forecast. The positive variance reflected reductions in discretionary FTE expenses, vendor spend, and hardware purchases; it excludes an SAP impairment charge.

Overall results for Q3:
• FTE expenses came in $2.4m under forecast of $212.5m
• Vendor/outsourced spend was $14.1m under forecast of $74.6m
• Labs, hosting, and other costs were $9.9m under forecast of $31.7m
• MSIT headcount overall decreased by 11 FTEs to 4,531 for March
• The number of FTEs in March decreased by 7 in the United States to 2,755, decreased by 2 in India/China to 1,392, and decreased by 2 in the rest of world to 384

After the quarter closed Microsoft leadership issued guidance to all organizations for Q4 spend to remain flat to Q3. For MSIT this would have meant reducing our plans by $36.3m, as we had forecast to increase spend from $292.3m in Q3 to $328.6m in Q4. Ultimately SMSG funded an exception for MSIT allowing us to increase spend by $22.2m to $314.5m in Q4. All organizations have received new Q4 targets and we are working together to adjust our plans for Q4.

No updates after this 4/24 mail from Tony Scott on Head cuts,etc who believes greatly on greatly on transparency except story mails.

But we've started our big time lay off without any tranparency cuts this time during start of Q4 itself.

Mr. Tony-From where you're planning to get the additional savings of $14.1m for this Q4 ?
Why not additional man hunting in the leadership levels across the board ?

Anonymous said...

There are two values to look at in Headtrax: "People" versus "Approved Positions".

See Figure 1 at this whitepaper

Anonymous said...

I'm a dev in one of the SBA groups. Today was one wierd day - no emails. It was so quiet on our floor, clearly something was going on. By the EOD we all received email about group meeting that was moved from our usual time on Monday to Tuesday, May 5th @ 9:00 am. Doesn't look good, just doesn't. Mini, is this your idea to become "lean & mean"?

Anonymous said...

Our manager has given indications to expect a layoff notice on Monday 4th May or Tuesday 5th May. He says that nothing is confirmed and that no one knows for sure... however his tone and attitude confirms what we have been fearing in Microsoft India.

Anonymous said...

Okay, sounds like the rumors are coalescing around layoffs. Interesting to me is how Microsoft will function and what the corporate culture will be like afterward. Will products still be developed in the same way, leading to a typical Dilbert-like situation where employees become overworked trying to cover for the missing headcount and perpetually worried about being laid off themselves, or will the reduction in headcount force a change of course and lead to simplified and more effective products?

I was repaving a computer today and decided to install IE8. I noticed that it's quite a big download--more than twice the size of Firefox. The install process was more involved and took a couple minutes, whereas Firefox installs in seconds. And ultimately it looks like even more small widgets and toolbars have been added to all corners of IE windows; very cluttered UI. It's a shame. This is not a good way to design software. At least Win7 is a step in the opposite direction.

Anonymous said...

I admired Jeff Raikes and when he left, I knew MS is toast. Anyone knows where he went?

Raikes is now CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He stepped into that role about a year ago.

The Golden Age-ers at Microsoft have made their money. Now they're doing good deeds with it.

Those left in charge now, for the most part, are of a different ilk. And so it's a different era for us in the trenches. Dark Ages or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Cutting forces from all other decent products we are now focusing more on search. See what they are doing
http://news.digitaltrends.com/news-article/19841/google-is-live-search-s-top-query

Anonymous said...

SLT in panic The view from the bottom of the pyramid is a leadership team in total panic.

Exhibit A: All this cloak and dagger stuff of people made to sign oaths in blood for secrecy on the portentous future

A better approach would have been for SteveB and Lisa to call an emergency Town Hall meeting, level with the employees on what's going on, and their (SLT's) view on what needs to be done to get the company back on track.

(PS: Taking advice from Wall Street sure isn't it, unless all you care about is a temp blip in the stock so people can bail)

Employees get that the Company Picnic was cancelled for financial reasons. (Nobody buys the further nonsense from Lisa about logistics etc.)

Employees are willing to do what it takes to further reduce cost (but let's keep the towels, and the paper clips, okay).

Employees get that if you don't perform, you have no place in the team or the company. So expect to be booted out (bad economy or not)

The SLT is a misnomer (oxymoron?), and is at the moment succeeding in demoralizing an already demoralized workforce. That price will be paid in the coming months and years.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft, R.I.P.

"But, that's a given. Everyone has that problem. It's more than that. For starters, I blame Microsoft's management. They've been sloppy and lazy for years now.

The rot starts from the top with Steve Ballmer. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Fire Steve Ballmer. He's a salesman. He's not a top-level manager. Never was. Never will be."

Anonymous said...

June 30 is not a relevant date. The fiscal year ends on the last Friday in June (June 26, 2009). So stop reading too much into these posts.

Anonymous said...

Two building 109 conference rooms are booked for 6 hour stretches by the same person. On Tuesday. Coincidence?

Anonymous said...

Will the only employees left after Cinco de Mayo be managers, making the lowest-level managers (who then would lack direct reports) the victims in the next round?

Very interesting strategy. Stupid, but interesting.

Anonymous said...

>>Mastercrook Moorthy's disciple Mehar Zafroz also got the axe with 20 people


till now it has been only 2/3 in Meher's org. not 20. They anticipate more.

Anonymous said...

"(PS: Taking advice from Wall Street sure isn't it, unless all you care about is a temp blip in the stock so people can bail)"

Yeah, what does Wall Street know? They only began predicting MS's decline eight years ago. Said MS couldn't catch Google in Search or Apple's iPod and shouldn't try. That gaming was a poor investment and didn't make sense. That hiring and spending were out of control. That new businesses were being allowed to lose too much money for too long without adequate accountability. That MS was losing relevance especially among the new generation. And that MS should focus on doing fewer things better. Everything has worked out so much better for the company by ignoring Wall Street and going with the advice of the serially incompetent SLT and Board instead.

Anonymous said...

Yo Mama Recipes For Cost Cutting Yo mama! Reduce SLT bonus,stock Yo mama! Reduce partner bonus, stock Yo mama! Reduce pay for search, adcenter Yo mama! Reduce msr researcher level by 3-4 Yo mama! Clean up Ray Ozzie org Yo mama! Reduce Sales bonus Yo mama!! Reduce HR, Finance staff by 80%

Anonymous said...

my skip level advised to be wary of changes by end of June.

our NTE is 2 over and we all must play really well or get screwed by some favorites who are lower qualified or simply play better

Anonymous said...

> Our manager has given indications to expect a layoff notice on Monday 4th May or Tuesday 5th May. He says that nothing is confirmed and that no one knows for sure... however his tone and attitude confirms what we have been fearing in Microsoft India.

Bullsh!t. Managers won't say anything until the day of.

Anonymous said...

"Employees get that the Company Picnic was cancelled for financial reasons. (Nobody buys the further nonsense from Lisa about logistics etc.)"In this case you're actually mistaken -- the company meeting had become a logistics nightmare over the last few years and took far too much time from far too many people to organize.

As soon as the picnic needed to happen on two separate days to accommodate the crowds it was time to put the nail in the coffin -- it became far more hassle than it was worth both for the company and the community.

IMO, discounting tickets for the Puyallup Fair on a special "Microsoft Weekend" would make much more sense than trying to run the equivalent of our own county fair. :P

Anonymous said...

"Okay, sounds like the rumors are coalescing around layoffs. Interesting to me is how Microsoft will function and what the corporate culture will be like afterward. Will products still be developed in the same way, leading to a typical Dilbert-like situation where employees become overworked trying to cover for the missing headcount and perpetually worried about being laid off themselves, or will the reduction in headcount force a change of course and lead to simplified and more effective products?"

First of all, we're not laying off enough people to screw with anyone's workload. We have plenty of pork to whack a few thousand bodies without any work crunch happening.

Secondly, products will be developed the same way as long as we have the same executive roster.

Anonymous said...

i agree, layoffs dont change anything, rather now people will be more productive and work their asses off. i guess layoffs rather are the best things that has happened to microsoft in a long long time. Most often some employees got too arrogant and used to think they are gods, and the world is made of them and microsoft. they should see that the world is bigger than they think, this gives a good perspective to everyone ... i would say it makes microsoft stronger and stronger. go go steve

Anonymous said...

>> rather now people will be more productive

Erm... That could be true if layoffs were performance-driven. If you just fire people at random, the smarter ones pack their bags and leave, since they don't tolerate abuse too well. I certainly did. Liked the company, loved the team, but I won't be back until Monkey Boy decides to spend more time with his family. What a fucking disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Most often some employees got too arrogant and used to think they are gods, and the world is made of them and microsoft. they should see that the world is bigger than they think, this gives a good perspective to everyone Does this apply to the abusive,arrogant and cheap managers? I do not think so. In the current situation they will become more aggressive. And now they can easily fire the people they do not like. In Microsoft a manager can easily prove a strong person underperformed.

Anonymous said...

"i agree, layoffs dont change anything, rather now people will be more productive and work their asses off. i guess layoffs rather are the best things that has happened to microsoft in a long long time. Most often some employees got too arrogant and used to think they are gods, and the world is made of them and microsoft. they should see that the world is bigger than they think, this gives a good perspective to everyone ... i would say it makes microsoft stronger and stronger. go go steve"

er right... so you are assuming that only the shoddy people will get caught up in the blood-bath? Yes there is a huge amount of waste... but where do you reckon that sits and do you believe that our 'leaders' are smart enough to cut it out? Where I work, in the field, 90% of people are incredibly talented and couldn't work harder, without falling ill. Moreover, they have remained totally committed despite knowing what awaits them.... are these the 'arrogant' ones you are talking about? Obviously you have never managed people, or else you would know that MS will lose many great people over this and to our competitors... Thank god people are still hiring out there. It is precisely this kind of arrogant and out of touch attitude that is exemplified by our 'leaders' today and that is why we are in this mess.

Anonymous said...

As one of the MS1400, I found this story helpful and wanted to share it with other displaced workers.

Layoffs cut deeper than just income

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/TechsUnite/message/29862

Sun May 3, 2009 4:49 am (PDT)

Without social structure and routine, many of the new jobless begin to feel stuck in a rut

There’s the executive assistant who says she’s read 20 novels in the past month. The administrator who admits she sometimes stays in her pajamas until 3 p.m. And the business analyst who found himself in a months-long video game stupor, rarely leaving the couch.

The recently unemployed are discovering that layoffs mean more than lost income: they strip away routines and social structures, leaving many people feeling trapped at home and in a rut.
Career counselors call it hitting the wall. The people who have reached that point say it can feel more like a black hole.

For Andrew Adams, a 44-year-old technology consultant who was laid off last August, the first few weeks of unemployment felt like a vacation — the first he’d had in a long time. He spent time with his infant son. He took a role in a community theater production. He caught up on movies he’d missed while working late hours.

But as the economy worsened and job prospects dwindled, the shine wore off his newfound freedom. Leisure time turned to lethargy, and each day felt worse than the last. Unemployment became a barrage of daily frustrations and disappointments.

“It’s the intangibles that no one ever talks about,” Adams said. “It’s an assault on your soul.”
Adams finds himself among the ranks of thousands laid off in Houston who know those intangible burdens too well.

Depression is one. A feeling of purposelessness is another.

“Sometimes it just takes me more energy to get up in the morning,” said DeAnna Walters, an accountant and office manager who was laid off from her job with a commercial construction company in March. “I’ve questioned my identity and who I am.”

A November layoff forced Leah Boedeker, a department manager for a title company, to move in with relatives. “It’s like my life is on hold, and I’m waiting for it to start again. Eighty percent of what I own is in storage. I use somebody else’s dishes, somebody else’s washer and dryer,” she said. “People keep asking, ‘Have you had any luck?’ Every time someone asks you that, you feel like a failure.”

They’ve each found ways to avoid going stir crazy without the structure and routine of the working world. Boedeker has taken on chores for friends and family, doing yard work and running errands in an effort to feel useful.
Walters has used her free time for soul searching.

“I’ve been doing more journaling than I ever have before,” she said. “There is definitely a question of sanity. I find it in my faith.”

Career counselors urge the recently laid off to keep up the routine they’re used to, even though they’re no longer going to work.

“For a lot of people, their routine has been disrupted and they’re kind of adrift,” said Charlie Phillips, a recruiting consultant who volunteers every Wednesday as a career counselor at Northwest Bible Church. “They need some structure in their life, and some purpose to move them forward.”

Phillips recommends that job seekers work full time on their search: at least 40 hours a week. And, he urges, don’t wear pajamas all day.

“Get out of your house. Get off the couch. Get plugged into a group of people with similar goals,” he said.

The best way to make sure you’ll stay active and focused is to make sure someone holds you accountable, he said. The church’s job ministry organizes job search support groups so people can encourage each other and keep tabs on everyone’s progress.

Adams has signed up for one of the groups, and he’s already found an “accountability partner,” something akin to a sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous, to make sure he stays off the couch and on the job hunt.

He’s found new ways to motivate himself. He’s exercising more, inspired by the seventh habit listed in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” He’s getting out of the house more. And he’s seeing a payoff in job prospects from his new energy level.

“Lately I’ve had this flurry of activity,” he says. “I think things have started to turn around a little bit, because now I’m starting to get some nibbles, where I wasn’t before. I think a little bit of confidence goes a long way.”

Now Adams is gearing up for his next theatrical production: “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” He won’t play Charlie Brown, the eternal underdog. He will direct.

Anonymous said...

A good friend of mine is a L66. He (in my opinion at least) is partner material and his manager pushed through a promo for him at MY. Problem is, at least according to his manager, that the promo is in HR limbo. Apparently, HR wants less partners overall, and bumping someone to L67 shows that MS isn't serious about having less partners (reasoning: you don't promo someone to 67 if you don't think they'll make 68).

Problem is that the manager's line may be bs - he and I are both wondering if the real line is that it doesn't make sense to promo someone who's about to be laid off.

I don't know what to make of the May 5 rumours, but I suppose we'll just hold or breath for two more days and see who's still around.

Anonymous said...

In Microsoft a manager can easily prove a strong person underperformed.

-------

Very true ... alot of them need to go and learn and live that the employee/manager relationship is a partnership.

I have this going on with my manager and i am working in her court. However, you need to get external agents / sponsors to keep that person honest which is time consuming and lame.

Last review i was called a flight risk, said i had some x-team issues, i was able to demonstrait those not being real so the game changed. "let me stretch you till you can not succeed" at my level the amount of work (mostly the lower priority stuff) was wiping me out.

Things at this stage will be subjective. In my skip/skip level sync i found out alot of what information was being bubbled up via the "cheap" filter chain ...

Things are changing but jesus it is a PITA.. i hope they get theirs .. we are over 1 by NTE so i expect I am along with another (who is really an under performer) is at risk.

Anonymous said...

"Most often some employees got too arrogant and used to think they are gods, and the world is made of them and microsoft. they should see that the world is bigger than they think, this gives a good perspective to everyone"

Does this apply to the abusive,arrogant and cheap managers? I do not think so. In the current situation they will become more aggressive. And now they can easily fire the people they do not like. In Microsoft a manager can easily prove a strong person underperformed.


I'm starting to get really tired of people griping about how crap you find in every company on the planet is somehow unique to Microsoft.

Hello, people suck. Managers are frequenly assholes who want sycophants and toadies instead of smart people who challenge them. Business encourages people to be jerks in order to succeed and frequently doesn't reward people for fostering community and strong teams.

Anonymous said...

I am one of the next layoffs. I am almost sure. Others on my team too. I've been an Outstanding performer on my past two reviews. I interviewed last week for a job in a different group which is looking good. I'm also thinking of taking the severence if offered (will they offer??). Those who went in the first round, what should I expect in "the room", what questions I should be asking if any, and is there anything I should do prior to the meeting?

Anonymous said...

"A good friend of mine is a L66. He (in my opinion at least) is partner material and his manager pushed through a promo for him at MY. Problem is, at least according to his manager, that the promo is in HR limbo. Apparently, HR wants less partners overall, and bumping someone to L67 shows that MS isn't serious about having less partners (reasoning: you don't promo someone to 67 if you don't think they'll make 68)."

This paragraph illustrates everything that's wrong at our company -- we all view our jobs as numbers on the road to Partner.

Seriously, reading the above makes me shiver, because I don't think the OP even realizes how he sounds.

Anonymous said...

Some more suggestions from another MS1400 for people who may be impacted by the next round of layoffs
...
Expect high press tactics to get you to sign.
...
LOL As somebody who was hit by the last layoff, you obviously weren't one of the 1400 and are probably are not even a MS employee.

Anonymous said...

Those who went in the first round, what should I expect in "the room", what questions I should be asking if any, and is there anything I should do prior to the meeting?The "meeting" is a non-event. Or at least it was for me. You walk in, your GM and a HR rep are there. GM says. gee, I'm sorry. HR rep hands you a large manilla envelope with paper for you to sign, with details on what you need to do. I suppose you can ask questions, but I'm quite sure you won't get any better info out of them than your will from reading the papers, talking with tearful fellow refugees, or coming here. The meeting itself is just a formality, a private little ceremony. Mine was over in less than 5 minutes.

IIRC, you have to sign an item or two acknowledging that your position has been eliminated, you're no longer an employee, etc. Those things you have to sign then and there. You do NOT have to sign the severance agreement - you should have some time to mull that over (for me, it was about 5-6 weeks, I think). Like most of us, you will probably end up shrugging and signing the thing, in order to get "the package". Some suggest getting legal advice before deciding on that. Me, I shrugged and signed a few weeks later.

What should you do before going in? See the posts earlier in this thread. Start copying your personal files off your compuers and off network shares. Make a trip to the company store. Get your discretionary spending under control. Brace your family for the times ahead. Brace yourself, too. Get ready to make changes to your 401k and ESPP participation (if you don't do this, any severance package will be treated just like a paycheck, which you probably don't want). Start packing up your things - who knows how long you'll have to get your stuff out. Print out pay stubbs for the past 6 months (remember, if you have direct deposit, you will not have access to the statements after your email/net access is switched off; you may need to document your income for the past 6 months to colect unemployment). Start networking with all your close friends and long-lost associates - update your contact lists on various social networking sites. Make sure you have good contact info (non-Microsoft email if possible - maybe they're getting laid off, too) for anyone you think you might want to remain in touch with. It's better to get your network in place while you still have a job and access to corpnet (and before you feel like you have the shame and taint of a layoff on you....even though there's no shame in this, you will probably feel that way for a bit. It will pass).

Think about the folks you would want to say goodbye to in person, and plan your "goodbye cruel world" email (don't wait until the last minute to send it). Cancel your meal card contribution and arrange for them to send you a check for whatever balance you have. Maybe go to the supply room and discreetly load up on post-it notes and paper clips. Then go commiserate with friends. Remember, lots of other people wil be freaking out, too (both victims and survivors, too).

And if the worst happens, keep in mind that there IS life after Microsoft. Personally, I can't really say that I'm happy that I lost my job, but I can honestly say that I'm happy and relieved that I don't have to live in Bullshit World anymore. Yeah, every job has some politics and some BS and some A-holes, but Microsoft is another world, where such excesses are orders of magnitude more intense and prevalent than other places I've worked. It really doesn't have to be that way, and in other places, it's not. But that Crazytown stuff is just part of Microsoft's DNA, and I'm glad to be done with it. YMMV.

If you do get the boot, take it easy on yourself, and don't take it too personally. Give yourself time to grieve, give yourself some time to heal. You'll get through it, and you'll find other good stuff to replace what you think you will miss from not working at Microsoft.

Good luck to you all.

Anonymous said...

In response to poster....
I am one of the next layoffs. I am almost sure...

I'm also thinking of taking the severence if offered (will they offer??).

-> Severance will be 1-2 weeks for every 6 months of service. Previous severance included COBRA subsidy ....Keep in mind this isn't as compelling since the economic stimulus plan includes 65% COBRA subsidy for 9 months.

-> Expect high pressure tactics to sign Microsoft's Termination Agreement....

DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU REVIEW IT WITH AN ATTORNEY

Microsoft's termination agreement has a 'gag order' that prevents you from making disparaging remarks about Microsoft products, managers, etc. and requires you to waive rights to legal action..

if you are a protected class definitely seek professional legal advice.

Those who went in the first round, what should I expect in "the room", what questions I should be asking if any, and is there anything I should do prior to the meeting?

Before the meeting

-> Check into refinancing your mortgage. It's unlikely to get refinancing once you're unemployed.
-> Check into labor lawyer referrals

During the meeting

->Anything you say can and will be used against you. Say nothing. Let your lawyer do the talking for you.

After the meeting
Go to Worksource in Redmond, very helpful information on unemployment resources.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

As a person who got laid off in the first one, this is what happened to me.
1. On the day I got an S+ from the GM.
2. I was shocked and called up my manager to find out what it is about. He just told me that I should attend the meeting.
3. At 10 AM I went into the room along with my manager. GM and HR person were already there. GM just told me the news that they are letting me go because of the financial crisis.
4. The immediate next day was my last day in the job with additional 60 days in the company.
5. You have the pay, health benefits for the next 60 days.
6. While I didn't get the intranet access for next 60 days some of the lucky one got it and they had the chance to find jobs inside
7. Also most likely you won't have the after hours access any more

I sincerely wish that you are not one of those who are getting laid off but if you do there is a lot more life outside than inside MS.

Anonymous said...

For those curious about whether you will be impacted by a layoff-

you might want check to see if you have been removed from any mailing lists on http://autogroup in the past week that you did not initiate...

This occurred in January.

Anonymous said...

"A better approach would have been for SteveB and Lisa to call an emergency Town Hall meeting, level with the employees on what's going on, and their (SLT's) view on what needs to be done to get the company back on track."

What's going on should be obvious from recent results. Equally obvious from those is that SLT has had a decade to get the company on track and to wean it away from its dependence on PCs but failed. They have no more idea of how to get out of this mess than they had of how to avoid it in the first place. The reason they're panicked is because they know all this and know that now everyone else does too.

Anonymous said...

"A good friend of mine is a L66. He (in my opinion at least) is partner material"

Or... your opinion isnt shared by your VP... he might get layed off but if not, you should assume that your friend isnt as highly thought of in the eyes of those that matter. Being promoted to Partner is less about results and more about your network... it sounds negative but that is actually a good thing because how one gets results at Partner level is almost always related to ones network and the last thing you want as someone working for a GM is a poorly connected GM... trust me... when i know more about what is going across the company than my GM, i know I am in trouble.

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