Thursday, July 17, 2014

18,000 Microsoft Jobs Gone... Eventually?

1. Cut Once.

2. Cut Deeply.

And might I humbly add:
3. Cut Quickly.

As of this morning, we're looking to cut 18,000 Microsoft positions including around half of the Nokia destruction-palooza orchestrated by Mr. Elop and Mr. Ballmer.

How does this affect all of Microsoft? Redmond? That's a bit unknown. Just looking at the State of Washington WARN site, I don't see a notification from Microsoft yet: http://www.esd.wa.gov/newsandinformation/warn/ .

And that concerns me because now you have a level of stress and anxiety at Microsoft. First, the selfish stress about whether my job is affected. Then personal circle stress. Then partner collaboration stress. Then way out there general concerns about the company. And guess what: when folks are stressed and gossiping, they are not effectively - er, excuse me, productively (?) - implementing the latest strategy. Physiologically, they have increased cortisol and this time will turn into a fog.

That's why I hope that Cut Quickly happens. Without it, we're back to our first layoff experience. If anything broke the back of this blog, it was the first big Microsoft layoff back in 2009. How? How could the realization of a step towards Mini-Microsoft do that? Because it was implemented so poorly, with constant worries and concerns and doubts about engaging in new ideas due to expectations those would be the easiest to trim during ongoing cut-backs. When was it over? When was the "all clear" signal given?

So if this truly drags on for a year: we need a new leader. This needs to be wrapped up by the end of July. 2014.

One last small comment: yeah, everyone loves to flatten, including me. But to truly flatten engineering at Microsoft we need to decide that people management is actually a well invested career path. Most developers I know that become Leads are invariably harmless as a manager but spend most of their time deeply technical because they know that's where the rewards are. For the others that I know that have embraced becoming a people manager and have excelled there: well, if they get flattened into an Individual Contributor then they might as well leave Microsoft. Bless their hearts, but if they had to reconstitute their Dev skills to match the career ladder level they climbed to as a leader, they are sorely out of luck. I'll be honest with them. I hope all the other leaders out there are just as honest.

So.

Thoughts? Are you affected? The one bit of advice I can pass on from the previous round of layoffs: don't leave any HR 1:1 meeting without being absolutely satisfied you know everything you need to know and have everything to move forward. Because once you're out the door, for all the assurances you're going to get, it's super-hard to make a connection for more information and follow-up.

Now, excuse me, I'm sure I'll have a busy morning. And like all of you, I'm keeping an eye out for a sudden HR Generalist meeting that pops up on my calendar... until I hear the All Clear.




1,380 comments:

1 – 200 of 1380   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Welcome back Mini!!!

Anonymous said...

I'll hazard a guess that Nadella has already decided where the axe should fall. Right or wrong, he has to act now and you are right, prolonged uncertainty is deeply damaging. He's rolled the dice so he needs to get on with it.

I feel really bad for those about to get the chop. Yet another lesson in life: to a corporation, you are nothing but an asset, so save your passion and loyalty for a cause that deserves it.

- former softie (who left of his own volition)

Anonymous said...

You nailed it. When you take a bandaid off, you just grab hold and rip. Why our illustrious leaders can't figure this out is beyond me.

We clearly have too many middle managers. People who work as half-dev, half-manager. We require far too many people to agree to come to a plan of action. I was at a meeting recently that literally required 8 managers (in varying forms of dev lead/dev manager), and that was without any test or PM input. We need to have just a few people making decisions.

Flattening the orgs and decreasing the number of decision makers is a good thing - but it needs to be done NOW without hanging it over our heads for a year.

HS @ Our Debt Blog said...

CUT ALL YOU WANT BUT PLEASE DON'T COME CRYING THAT YOU NEED MORE H1B1 VISAS!!!!!

HS

Anonymous said...

Are you Nadella himself?

Anonymous said...

As a random comment, a quick look at this blog, there's a post about layoffs in 2009, on January 22nd. WARN lists those layoffs with a notify date of January 23rd, so a lack of data on WARN right now might not mean much?

Just my $.02

Anonymous said...

I finally left MSFT in Jan after one too many years of hanging around... Only regret is I didn't do it sooner. I feel bad for any of my former colleagues that will be affected.

As a shareholder I was hoping to see a few more cuts to be honest. And all at once, not dragged out over a year.

Anonymous said...

Well said HS!! True there are a lot of devs and IC PMs pushed into becoming people managers with nary a people's skill. Cut those positions, cut-wise

Anonymous said...

As a former softie, this is the first step for me considering going back at some point. Hopefully there are substantial hierarchy changes, I was deadset on not being there when this day came. That said it's really not that dramatic (from a macro perspective) when you take Nokia out of the picture, so it's hard to say what meaningful impact will occur.

Anonymous said...

I do hope the execs get it over with quickly. Prolonging the process is so destructive. Hope you all survive the cuts. Welcome back, Mini.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of Elop for us!

- former Nokian!

Anonymous said...

Is volunteering to be laid off an option? I heard, it's free salary for half a year (if you are here for >6 yrs) right? I probably need an answer quickly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting so we have somewhere outside of MS to discuss this. I strongly agree that faster is better. I've worked at companies that have constant small layoffs and it just kills morale and efficiency. I think you are also correct about middle managers. I think it is going to be a very hard transition for them - and it will be harder for them to make the transition to a similar position outside Microsoft.

Anonymous said...

typical Microsoft fashion to drag this out over 12 months.... awful. Needs to be done quickly. Morale and productivity will be toast for the next 12 months. No amount of "THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO" emails from Turner will fix that.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what the severance package looks like?

Anonymous said...

Be curious to learn how many (if any) engineering jobs are being cut in Shanghai or Hyderabad? Or is this just outsourcing in disguise?

Anonymous said...

Prediction: Satya is Mini.

Anonymous said...

Will it affect GC processing of the existing and new employees?

Anonymous said...

Quite the opposite to outsourcing, it seems that it's a small amount of cuts in Redmond and 90% elsewhere.

Seems several orgs have their *ahem* crap together and are doing their entire cut today. OSG and CMG included.

Anonymous said...

GC filing would stop again for an year at least.

Anonymous said...

A layoff period extending over months and up to a year will not only kill morale and productivity of existing employees.

It will drive brilliant survivors to leave - the people MSFT can least afford to lose will jump ship to FB, Google, Amazon, other tech firms, and even startups as the stock price climbs in the short term due to cuts.

It will kill MSFT's ability to hire new talent for the next 12 months. Nobody wants to accept an offer from a firm that is still down-sizing, for two reasons. First, their job will get harder as others are let go, and second, there's no guarantee they won't be laid off from their shiny new job a few months after they arrive. Affected execs and hiring managers are too often the last to know when they and their team(s) are put on the chopping block.

Given Satya appears to be demonstrating a curious lack of will when it comes to executing quickly on tough decisions, it may be that MSFT needs yet another and more decisive CEO if it is to become "the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world."

Anonymous said...

The conversations I've been a part of say that this is a Balmer-purge. Would be interesting to see Kevin Turner gone, most of his role moved under Finance, and a proper Sales Lead hired.

Anonymous said...

because SYNERGY!

Anonymous said...

I know 3 SDETs from different parts of OSG who have been handed their papers.

Anonymous said...

Mini, can we please create two separate threads;
1. For sharing information about where (teams and location) and how many cuts.
2. Discussion group for those getting laid off. Share experiences, tips for others, severance details, etc.

Anonymous said...

In response to "Is volunteering to be laid off an option? I heard, it's free salary for half a year (if you are here for >6 yrs) right? I probably need an answer quickly."

Good luck with that one. Maybe you should just leave. In the past, it's been a week of severance for every 6 mos of service.

They need the layoffs to be part of the September attrition #s so I wouldn't expect to see much until that Sept review cutoff date has passed, so they are counted with good attrition.

Anonymous said...

"Prediction: Satya is Mini."

Satya isn't witty enough to be Mini.... I knew Satya quite well back in the early 2000's.... He's a pretty dry dude.

Anonymous said...

Have you heard that no FTEs can come back as contractors for at least 6 months? Also, all v- will now be able to work only 18 months, then have to take 6 months off. That wont affect business continuity at all....

Anonymous said...

WARN notice just got posted


Company: Microsoft (Redmond) will lay off 1351 employees,
effective September 15, 2014
Date of Notification: July 17, 2014

Anonymous said...

The writing is on the wall: say goodbye to the concept of dev lead etc. All you Engineers will report to a Dev Manager. Flat is where it's at. One-on-ones? No.Engineer, manage thyself.

Anonymous said...

How do you think MBS will be affected?

Anonymous said...

I just knew there would be a Mini-post on this. And there it was. Nice to hear from you again.

Anonymous said...

I am one of almost 50 sdets in osg laid off.

Anonymous said...

My concern is that the "decision makers" are the usual suspects -those who have managed to survive and flourish over the past 5 years of choppy waters (I speak mostly from my experience of sales and marketing). These are the ones who grew under KT, Ballmer, and their progeny (d. porter, etc.) --these are the adept "deciders" who are listing out the first to go -but until I see KT, Lisa B. David P. gone (and likely their direct reports) you won't have a real change. You have a whole generation of politicos to work out of the system and right now they're still making the decisions ..

Anonymous said...

Mini, I'm surprised you didn't post anything when they brought Satya on board to be CEO. I thought for sure you had left the company at that point, but the wording you've used in this latest post seems to allude that you're still at MS. Unless you're trying to trick us and protect your identity.

Ah Mini, you always were a clever one. Good to see you up to your "punk"-ish ways again.

And if you are still at Microsoft, HR would be wise to keep their hands off you.

By the way, WARN is now showing a notice of 1,000+ to be layed off in Redmond.

Anonymous said...

Kind of puts a damper on //OneWeek... rather than hacking I think I'll be instead spending my late nights getting my resume/LinkedIN and portfolio up to date.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious if this means more or fewer PMs. My 4-ish year tenure with the company it seems like there are way too many of them.

That said, the trimming is needed and I hope it comes quickly and intelligently.

Anonymous said...

Although I agree that it would be better to complete the layoffs as soon as possible, I don't think the end of July would be a realistic date unfortunately, given the sheer number of people they're laying off (18k, wow) and this time they're trying to be more careful about who/how they lay folks off this round. At least from the wording in Satya's e-mail, they'll be trying to do it more dignity and transparency this round. Not to mention, that one of the biggest reasons for this layoffs is because of the Nokia merger, and not because of a recession.

Anonymous said...

The mind shattering incompetence is the decision to have an extended layoff season.

Flattening the management system, if handled correctly, good.

Gutting test as a discipline, unwise, but anyone who was familiar with Satya's history at MSFT would have seen that coming.

Having a prolonged "layoffs are still coming" (where the axe playing Sword of Damocles is the same size as the 2009 layoffs) period, that is just incompetence. All it will do is guarantee that you get a lot of "bad attrition" as the people you want to keep decide they don't want to be in no-mans-land for a prolonged period of time, and leave. Let's face it, once you start packing your parachute, you might as well jump.

Finally, for anyone at MSFT naive enough to believe that the end of the forced curve reviews meant something -- I would be stunned to discover they were NOT using the years of forced curves to determine who to toss out of the lifeboat.

Anonymous said...

I am services person, not speak well English sorry. Every testers, they go! Testers work to customer every day... how that go to India? It crazy. Now we wait 6 months? Why? To lost job too?

Anonymous said...

OSG seems to be the most heavily hit of the engineering groups. Most layoff reports are coming from there. Also they don't appear to be performance based. There are former bucket 1 individuals in the cut list.

Anonymous said...

Are they only cutting testers? any PM's?

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's any accident that the WARN effective date for these layoffs is 15th of September (the date on which all employee reviews should be completed) so nice to see they're at least considering good attrition.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the handwriting was on the wall about this as soon as the Nokia deal was announced, so if anyone is caught by surprise that a big layoff is happening, you are either naïve or weren't paying attention. That said, the smarter people (me! ha!) left at the beginning of the year to avoid the taint of potentially being culled with the herd. The good news (at least initially) is that the vast majority of the lost jobs will be Nokia jobs (good for MOST-but not all- Redmond folks, not for Nokia people). But, the smart money says more layoffs are coming and unfortunately, I predict it will be slow death by many thousand cuts (and no, it wont just be this year).

Bottom line, though, is this company is not what it once was and I don't see or feel the point of why the vast majority of talented employees are hanging around except, of course, due to inertia and for the paycheck. I personally gave it 10 years and really, that was about 6 years too long. To be honest, I have to say I'm so glad I'm not there to feel the pain this time around. It was bad enough last time.

I have to say, though, it's hard to watch (even from afar) the once great and once personally admired company slowly dying. But everything has a life cycle, I suppose.

That all being said, I know it has been written many times on this blog in the comments section, but I'll say it again because now I know it to be true: there really is good life and good work after Microsoft, so take heart if you're impacted by this.

Anonymous said...

Was just told that 257 of the positions eliminated in corporate Services and Marketing. Some of the people that will be laid off are due to performance. However, many are not.

Anonymous said...

I remember OSG being hit pretty hard last time during the layoffs. Why do they keep getting screwed over?

Anonymous said...

"Was just told that 257 of the positions eliminated in corporate Services and Marketing. Some of the people that will be laid off are due to performance."

"Due to Performance" isn't that an interesting phrase? Many being laid off are now designated as having "performance issues" - what a scam. This has been coming for a long time and the old review model was prepping the stage for it.

I am so glad I left, right after collecting my bonus, stock, and cashing out a ton of vacation time.

Anonymous said...

Are all the engineering cuts for testers? Are they generally low performers?

Anonymous said...

Microsoft should start by terminating managers like this person who cost the company $11.6M. Can anyone tell me why this person is still employed and apparently thriving?

http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/texas-employment-labor-law/Microsoft-verdict-19779.html

Anonymous said...

anyone from fargo campus affected?

Anonymous said...

My wife's job was eliminated today. She's been with MS for the past 15 years and her reviews were flawless. She will definitely find a better/different role somewhere but she decided that she will never go back to Microsoft due to the way they had handled her layoff:

They have invited about 70 people from her org, some of them were star performers for a 10A meeting. In this meeting, the partner that leads the test org (who was 15 minutes late) told them directly that all of the attendants role was eliminated due to re org and layoff plan in MS and that they have until Sunday to backup and take any personal thing they have and complete a transition. He thanked them and pointed them to a package of documents that they should review by July 31st.

It all took about 15 minutes.

15 minutes to 70 people after 15 years of service. I think this is shameful. As a Microsoft employee, I decided that I don't want to work for this kind of org and started looking for my new adventure.

Shame on you Nadella! you could have done it differently.

By bye Microsoft. I'm selling all my stocks and products and don't want to have any connection to this ruthless management.


Anonymous said...

Mini, does this mean you are no longer an FTE?

While the Satya email spoke of this being a long process, he also left it to his division heads.

Most of the follow-up emails I've seen suggest that it will be a quick process (C+E, OSG, Devices, etc) for those in Redmond who should find out today if they are about to be axed.

The difference probably relates to laws and processes in some more affected regions.

Anonymous said...

Glad I left over 2 years ago right after making lvl 63. 6 years was enough, but the first 3 years were golden I will admit and it taught me how to learn.

The last year burned me out (ironically I made lvl 63 then) and I left to lick my wounds and re-tool my career and re-gain my joy and enthusiasm for software development.

Now, my tech stack is Eclipse, Spring Framework, Java, Node.js, Linux, and the rest of it in the OSS cloud computing space and I've learned more in the last 2 years than in the prior 6 as Microsoft (though MS taught me how to learn very well!).

My workstation is still Windows 7, but when I have to upgrade it will be to a linux distro as many devs here do as desired.

I've never been happier!

So if you get the axe there is indeed life after MS even in non-MS tech if you are lucky enough and brave enough to get a chance to re-tool your skill set.

One way to do this is to join a startup that is desperate for an experienced *insert generic tech domain here such as cloud computing* dev even if said dev knows nothing about the actual specific technologies used for implementation at the ground level, i.e. Java, Node.js, etc.

Anonymous said...

All said and done, I feel for impacted people. Hard, but please get back up and find new opportunities - life doesn't stop with Microsoft.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind many of these employees are European. The European countries have very complex and stringent rules which can take time to work through.

Anonymous said...

I'm one who happily took off in February of 2009, knowing SteveB pretty well and divining what was coming, and seeing the writing on the wall for the then-impending layoffs (and the vague, chaotic life that followed).

I got myself off to greener pastures and am for the better because of it. At the time, I wondered if I should leave to hang around for the severance, and I'm glad I didn't (because there wasn't one).

I do feel for my friends and colleagues who stayed, because the price of that is the confusion and pain being felt now.

Help us grizzled old veterans out: what is OSG and CMG?

(WTF, OMG, I'm so glad I don't have to keep up with TLAs anymore.)

Also, what's with Mr. Nutella tossing everything in the dumpster that even remotely has the scent of BobMu, BrianV, DaveC and SteveSi on it? That is some seriously psychotic shenanigans going on, there. Is there some board psychosis going on here, too, vicariously living through Mr. Nutella?

If you get laid off, I genuinely feel bad for you, and yes, there will be pain, but it's what has to happen for you to get to where you're supposed to be.

Because you're not supposed to be at MSFT anymore, and deep-down, you already know that if you're here reading this blog like I was, in 2008.

Anonymous said...

So WARN lists 1351. Does that mean that 1351 softies working in Puget Sound were told not to come to work tomorrow? Or does it mean 1351 will be given pink slips by 9/15?

Anonymous said...

CUT ALL YOU WANT BUT PLEASE DON'T COME CRYING THAT YOU NEED MORE H1B1 VISAS!!!!!

Microsoft are awarding hundreds of millions in contracts to Infosys, Tata Consulting and HCL! Each one brings over thousands of H1bs on fake resume to America supposedly to help cut cost.

Anonymous said...

If it's like last time, the Sept 15th date is the actual termination date - they keep you on the payroll for 60 days. Then you are terminated and your severance, etc. paid.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the WARN act require a 60-day notice period? Seems like the September "end date" would support this.....

Anonymous said...

From what I'm hearing in the hallways today, Windows Marketing has really been hit hard.

Anonymous said...

The WARN act requires 60 days notice or pay in lieu of the 60 days. So you work like normal for 60 days or your actual work is terminated but you are kept on payroll the 60 days.

Last time people were kept on "administrative leave" for the 60 days.

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious... if still on payroll for 60 days, what does that mean for stock options vesting at the end of August/beginning of September? Are you still technically "employeed", hence the vest goes through?

Anonymous said...

As someone who got the white envelope back in 2009, I can attest that the "60 days on the payroll" part is true but it's not "60 more days of work as usual" We got 60 days of access to resume writing assistance, interview coaching and free wifi & coffee. Don't recall if stock continued to vest because there were no vesting dates in that range.

If you are getting that envelope today, I feel for you. It feels like a kick in the nuts but that part fades. There is life post-MSFT and it's a good one. Learn Java, spring, Jenkins, maven, etc... Go to work for a competitor! Start your own business! Change your whole career.

Things get better.

Anonymous said...

We are going the way of Cisco and Vmware and Qualcom and of course Nokia and IBM.

downsizing through outsourcing:
http://www.networkworld.com/article/2264760/lan-wan/cisco-quietly-downsizing-through-outsourcing.html

http://nypost.com/2013/10/05/ibm-now-employs-more-workers-in-india-than-us/

Anonymous said...

The 60 days of work is referring to the law, not MS. The employer can choose to keep you working (Boeing, for example, tends to do this), put you on other duties or no duties. Or the leave :)

The Great Layoff of 2009 varied in the experience of employees. Some kept badge and access the whole 60 days but weren't required to work. Some had to turn in badge and access but remained on payroll, etc.

I have no idea what the deal will be this time but I agree that life does go on.

Anonymous said...

I hope Mr. Nutella gets rid of Bucky aka KT while he's flushing the mains.

Anonymous said...

Nadella will regret. Watch! 18,000 leaving with a lot of brain power. Watch Finding Nemo, and you will know that these 18,000 can form another-better Microsoft if they come together :).

Anonymous said...

> Learn Java, spring, Jenkins, maven, etc...

ಠ_ಠ

Anonymous said...

What is the point of buying Nokia where you need to fire 50% of the employees. Simply lame, and in turn effects the overall moral and reputation of the company.

Anonymous said...

There is no easy way to lay people off. It sucks so bad that people are going to complain about it. For good reason. And I'm sure Nadella (or Nutella--as some people keep calling him, sheesh) could find a way to lay people off nicely he would do it. But it's still a business, so though yes it sucks, and though I feel for the people getting screwed by this, let's keep it real. From the e-mail, at least it sounds like they're doing this was some dignity this round (everyone is getting a severance, unlike last time, plus they will be giving transparency).

Anonymous said...

"What is the point of buying Nokia where you need to fire 50% of the employees. Simply lame, and in turn effects the overall moral and reputation of the company."

Microsoft's mobile and phone business is very important to them. There are some really amazing people to come out of this acquisition (namely, the designers). Plus it's to keep it out of the hands of competitors. The fact that they need to lay so many people off in order to achieve this is unfortunate though.

With all the people they already had, why couldn't Microsoft do it already on their own? I think this is attributed to the working culture there, which is nice to see is changing, but time will only whether their new plans actually work or not.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft, specifically OSG went the way of Yahoo! and laid off remote workers. I'm sorry, "recalled their positions to Redmond", and offered lateral moves. That or be laid off...

15+ years at MSFT, remote worker with stellar reviews, dumped to the curb!

Anonymous said...

I'm in DevDiv (part of C+E). I note that DevDiv is where Satya rose to power.

I know of 4 people in OSG who got canned, of 2 people in SQL Server, and I personally know 2 people in my own team.

I'm trying to understand why those 2 people were picked. I was not and I'm being moved to another team. They both had at least 5 years' service and were either L61/62. One of them did get a '5' review score recently, but the other was a very average employee as far as I could tell.

I'm surprised that I was not selected for RIF, as I also received a '5' last year and my last 2 quarterly reviews have not been positive either, and my Lead is very well aware that I don't like my job - but I haven't been at the company for long.

I think they probably did it on the basis of future-potential (e.g. my lead says he's seen improvement in me, whereas they probably didn't see promotions coming to the two people who got laid-off).

Anonymous said...

What blows my mind is people with "perfect" reviews have been shown the door.

To the person with 15 year veteran wife: can you share what level she was? Was she a lead?

Anonymous said...

Feel strongly that the company and stock price is being manipulated by the value act consortium.

Notice, not a single negative article on Microsoft since Nadella took over. Its as if all good things at Microsoft came to life as soon as Ballmer left. The reality, is that we are still living with his legacy so not sure what changed.

The cuts are value acts way to get the stock moving , if I am investing over $2Billion at $25 , its a nice return already. Although the number is big-- its a wash. Most of the cuts are in Nokia and we all know that even without Nokia Microsoft needed a deep cut, so looking at the number of cuts in Redmond - its a blip.

For those getting the calls today, its not all bad. I left the company about 2 years ago voluntarily and am in a GREAT spot. I do think I stayed over by 2 years more than I should have. That said, it does hurt to see a company like this go through so much churn. It taught me all the skills that I am leveraging today and had great people.

So looking forward to the bloom of startups in Seattle. For those who did not get the calls today, its a matter of time- this is the first of many cuts to come. Listen to the earnings report very closely .

Anonymous said...

Are the cuts mostly on the I/C side? What about leads and middle managers?

Anonymous said...

I know of 8 people affected by today's layoffs. All of them are ICs.

Anonymous said...

OSG is getting hit very hard - heard that one test team RIF'ed 40% of their test team.

Anonymous said...

I was layed off in 2009. My entire team got cut. For bad people they were not given the option of looking for a new job, good people got 2 months. The keeping of the stock is something new. It worked out perfectly for me, I got a free two month vacation and then just joined some other team.

I was kinda hoping would be in the cut today but I guess not :(

Anonymous said...

I would encourage eliminated employees interested in staying in Seattle to not delay on the job search. There are jobs out there, but not enough to absorb 1350 recently cut Microsofties.

If you're up for moving and can cut code, however, the Bay Area is hurting for folks.

A sad day for the North West. Perhaps Satya can sponsor some MS shuttles down to Mountain View...

Anonymous said...

I re-read Terry's mail and at the end it says "we have completed the OSG-wide restructuring in the US today".

Does that mean there will be no more OSG cuts in the next year?

Maybe OSG is getting hit "really hard" today because Terry decided to do it once and be done with it, whereas other groups are taking their time?

Anonymous said...

The entire Long Island office is toast. Another BobMu bit going down the crapper.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hey Ho Ho H1-Bs gotta go! Back to your $hith0le countries. Jobs for Americans only!

Anonymous said...

All the Redmond teams completed their cutting today and notified all employees. Internationally, local law requires longer lead times, that's why it takes up to a year to complete.

Anonymous said...

To anyone making crude comments about H1-B's .... I'm embarrassed to call you a coworker. If anyone on my team was insecure enough to lean on the "I'm an American" crutch I'd be seriously dubious of their skills.

Anonymous said...

Level 60 SDET in OSG laid off today, along with 1/2 my team. I was with the company many years, good reviews overall, but never seemed to be enough for a promo. I assume time-in-band got me.

Overall happy to be leaving, recently decided I needed to leave the company soon anyways.

Anonymous said...

"To anyone making crude comments about H1-B's .... I'm embarrassed to call you a coworker."

These trolls are obviously not MSFT.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how this cut affects subs (France, UK, Japan, Germany)?

Anonymous said...

"If anyone on my team was insecure enough to lean on the "I'm an American" crutch I'd be seriously dubious of their skills."

It's time to keep American jobs for Americans only. MS can go set up shop in Desi Land. My skills have nothing to do with my pissed off attitude about the Seattle area being colonized by my swarthy skinned brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

"colonized by my swarthy skinned brothers and sisters"

Racism has no place in this country.

Anonymous said...

A long time ago, I worked at AT&T. In 1993 (I told you it was a long time ago), AT&T was still mainly a long distance phone company. It had recently did a big media blitz about iPlan, and it failed miserably. AT&T realized they simply had too many employees.

So, they announced they were going to lay off 30% of the people in our division. However, they would first sort things out. We would be classified and placed into individual universes. HR and legal would examine everything. The layoffs would come in about 3 to 4 months.

What happened? Those who could get jobs found new jobs. Even if they thought they'd be kept, they knew that the next three months would be hell, and afterwords, you'd have 30% more workload.

Those who couldn't get new jobs (and there was plenty of deadwood at AT&T) stayed. After three months, they laid off 3 people instead of 230, and two of those were rehired the very next day. Total layoffs: 1 person.

However, the people who left were the ones that AT&T should have kept. These were the people who stayed late, got there work done, and came up with innovative ideas. Those that stayed were the people who'd you see playing games or reading the newspaper. They were deadwood before the layoff and remained deadwood after the layoff.

The overall quality of AT&T's workforce drop precipitously. I don't think AT&T ever recovered from that disaster. Layoffs should be quick because it's best for the company. It limits the length of pain, and allows the company to retain the workers they need.

Anonymous said...

"These trolls are obviously not MSFT."

This troll is an ex-softie. Six years. Had it up to my eyeballs with the cr@p I had to put up with.

I am now working for a company that has primarily American work force. So much better not having the lingering smell of curry all over the place.

The backlash will come and these H1-Bs are going to have to quick sell their homes and beat feet back to the turd bucket they came frome.

Anonymous said...

KT to Target in 3...2...1....

Anonymous said...

So why don't you say you hate Indians? There are many, MANY H1-B's not from there, including many European countries, South America, Australia, China, Japan etc. etc.


You're racist and insecure, we get it.

Anonymous said...

"Racism has no place in this country."

Diversity is causing this country to turn into a third world mess you brainwashed multi-cult a-hole.

Anonymous said...

I was on the Sigma team in OSG. The meeting under Evan was at 10:30 AM in Studio F. It was not a meeting invite, but an email saying to come to F for an important update on the org. It was short, he read from a script, HR next, and then that was it.

I was not surprised to see some of the people in the room, but I was surprised to see others.

Badge, building, and email end at 5:00PM on Sunday.

Been thinking about leaving for a while, but was comfortable, albeit miserable. Guess now I got a much needed kick in the pants to do something else. Not sure what that is. Wish I was renting, I would probably go elsewhere.

Sunday is the job elimination date and 9/15 is the termination date. When I asked if stock vesting on 8/30 and 8/31 would still vest, I was told yes. I hope so.

The one thing I was surprised about was that they subtract the next 60 days (8.4 weeks) off of your total severance pay.

Anonymous said...

Got the news today that I am RIFd (at least based on my position). Level 65 with 3 back to back to back review scores with a 1. Was told that I have until September 15th to find another job. I have been with Microsoft for 8 years. HR told me that I all outstanding stock will be immediately vested and that I will get 6 months severance based on time of service.

Anonymous said...

"You're racist and insecure, we get it."

No, what you don't get is the fact that there is a rising tide in this country of anger and resentment about having this once great nation being sold out to foreigners.

Anonymous said...

"HR told me that I all outstanding stock will be immediately vested and that I will get 6 months severance based on time of service."

By "all outstanding stock" you do just mean the portion scheduled to vest this year, right?

Anonymous said...

Could somebody please clarify what "HR told me that I all outstanding stock will be immediately vested and that I will get 6 months severance based on time of service." means?

Do they vest all of your outstanding stocks (the ones that will vest in next 5 years) or just the ones in August 2014? Also do you get all 6 months of calary as severance, such as $50K if your base salary is $100K?

Sounds too good to be true and I wonder what the truth is.

Anonymous said...

Lvl65 with 3 back to back 1s: were you a lead of IC?

Anonymous said...

I am so delighted to think that out of all of these layoffs there is probably some H1-B that is going to have to sell his nice new house on the Eastside and head back to wherever the f*ck hole he came from. Good Riddance.

Anonymous said...

Guys, stop engaging the racist troll. First rule of internet forum discussions: "Don't feed the troll".

Anonymous said...

Anyone have any rumors on fate of PMs in OSG?

Anonymous said...

"No, what you don't get is the fact that there is a rising tide in this country of anger and resentment about having this once great nation being sold out to foreigners."

This country was built by "foreigners" and will continue to do great because of its diversity. As am American, I recognize H1-Bs help our businesses meet the demand for educated people. This helps our GDP keep growing.

To shut out foreigners would not be a solution in itself, unless the United States could produce enough educated people to fill this demand, but therein lies the problem.

Anonymous said...

"I am now working for a company that has primarily American work force" congrats on your new job running the aryan nation website. There is no place for people like you in our workforce - good riddance.

Anonymous said...

The H1-Bs drive down wages. Also, when I worked at MS I noticed there was a fair amount of national nepotism. Indians only hire Indians, Chinese hire Chinese.

Also, since the company has the H1-B as an indentured servant they can treat them like dirt since they are not going to complain. They know it's a trip back to Bangalore.

There are many STEM educated professionals that can step in and do the job. Also, there are many older American programmers that are getting the shaft due to their age and their unwillingness to eat s#it that's dished out to them.

I know the score, I have worked in the tech industry for over 25 years.

Hiring H1-Bs and L-1s is all about labor arbitrage, more supply means lower wages means more profit.

Anonymous said...

"...the United States could produce enough educated people to fill this demand..."

But the US can produce enough. There has been a shift in this country of the best and brightest entering finance instead of tech due to the lower wages and job insecurity brought on by an over- supply of labor.

Anonymous said...

I'm ashamed by the racist hatred being spewed here. This is not who we as a company, or as a country are.

This was a hard day all around, for those who got cut and those who did not. Your insanity is not making it any better.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone have any rumors on fate of PMs in OSG?"

Around my area in OSG I've only seen one PM laid off so far and it was because he was a remote employee. I've heard there was a team or two that had to lay off some PMs that were over a certain Dev:PM ratio (I guess that's the "re-balancing the disciplines").

At least in my neck of the woods, it was confirmed that Terry's "We are done with layoffs as of today" was accurate. It sounded like a LOT was the Quality/Test team (perhaps around 40-50% on average).

Anonymous said...

Any details on layoff numbers in India?

Anonymous said...

For those who were laid off/fired today, relax. Life WILL be so much better post MSFT. I was given a 5 last year with an option to "walk away" with 2 months severance. I signed the paper and the ran gleefully to my car, so happy. I've never looked back. I see so many people who are miserable at MSFT. There is more to life than working 24/7 for little or no compensation for health degradation, mental breakdowns, loss of marriages, wondering when your kids went from babies to college graduates. Having your life back is worth so much more than any stock comp.

Anonymous said...

To the American software developers being laid off today, I feel sorry for you and your families. Now, think, does your former H1-B teammate still have his job? If Sandeep, Rajesh, Kumar, Ding Ho, Achmed, et. al. weren't here do you think you might still have your job now?

Anonymous said...

Are the emoyees who got RIFd today all SDETs?

Anonymous said...

From my team, yes it was all SDETs.

Anonymous said...

Any cuts in Bing? Or Azure?

Anonymous said...

I think it's sad that we, as MSFT employees, have to come to an external blog to figure out what's going on. I'm really shocked at the lack of communication around this and it's been such a drain on productivity today (someone commented on how quiet the halls were). I can't imagine six months of this and it sounds like there are more layoffs coming to Redmond? I'd really like to see the VP mails from all affected Orgs, I have only seen my own.

Anonymous said...

Any layoffs in Amy's (Finance) Org? I haven't heard any so far which is surprising specially with overlapping functions due to Nokia Finance folks!

Anonymous said...

Last year while working in STB (under Satya) I was let go in a round of layoffs, along with 40 or so of my colleagues.

Some points for those of you who are going through layoffs now:

• A lot of the process is driven by Washington State labor law, sometimes without being obvious. (IANAL)
• Note that some of you who are over the age of 40 are given special treatment due to labor laws. Know your rights.
• There was a severance package, confirm with your HR rep the amount *BEFORE* signing anything (confusing).
• From what we observed, those who got the “lowest” review score on their *last* review were let go with 48hrs notice.
Those with better scores were given 60 days.
• If you are given 60 days to look for a new job, good luck. 60 days will seem merciful at the start, but by the end, you will be glad it’s over.
Most of the people in our group who got other jobs had *already* been looking elsewhere in MSFT for jobs by the time the announcements were made.
• One of the worst parts of the layoff was seeing a good friend of mine get axed with 48hrs notice, and no chance to look for a new job within the company, he was just 1 year away from retirement (internet search for: microsoft retirement 55 years stock vest ). Left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.
• Work with your cohorts, share your job findings successes & failures. Take part in career fairs. Network. Best thing we did was to have twice weekly stand up meetings to discuss our successes and failures. Every little bit helps.
• Be prepared to suffer through 60 days of soul crunching rejection.

On a side note, I now view my layoff last year as a direct result of the Powers that Be to get rid of our General Manager, who had been coasting career wise. I wouldn’t be surprised that Satya is using this opportunity to get rid of the old guard (upper and middle management), and replace with his trusted allies.

@df80f5ccf584

Anonymous said...

Just heard (not confirmed so may very well be rumor) that all "cuts" to support functions like HR, LCA, Finance will come later based on what is left of business partners (=Engineering org)

Anonymous said...

"..Now, think, does your former H1-B teammate still have his job?.."

Actually this comment applies to me. I was the only US citizen on the team. Something is wrong about this.

Anonymous said...

Ballmer should have been laid off about 12 years ago! Formally jkurc@microsoft.com

Anonymous said...

""..Now, think, does your former H1-B teammate still have his job?.."

Actually this comment applies to me. I was the only US citizen on the team. Something is wrong about this.""

I don't work at msft but it's pretty obvious you're the same guy in both posts. Give it up already. H1-Bs give us a competitive advantage. Period. You can't compete with them? Tough luck. American corporations are supposed to be meritocracies (granted there's some politics everywhere). Want you're nationality to help coast you through life? Go work for the govt./military etc. H1-Bs don't exist there. If you're xenophobic, go work for Northrup grumman, Raytheon etc. They can't hire H1-Bs either.

H1-Bs don't exist only at Microsoft. They're now at every major tech company (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter etc). Google is everyone's favorite company and they have tons of H1-Bs. So there must be some merit to the program. I'm sure everyone there is smarter than you are!

Anonymous said...

"To the American software developers being laid off today, I feel sorry for you and your families. Now, think, does your former H1-B teammate still have his job? If [...] weren't here do you think you might still have your job now?"

It would be the same, because Microsoft wouldn't have been as successful nor stayed competitive enough to even offer those jobs in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Agree 100% with many of the comments thus far. Losing your job is no doubt extremely stressful, but there is life after MSFT. I left on my own 2 years ago after 6 years in Marketing with great reviews and 2 promos to level 63, but I was working ridiculous hours and put work before family. I now make more and work far fewer hours giving me the work life balance I wanted but could never achieve at MSFT.

Anonymous said...

I'm an ex Softie SDET who left in 2011 after working there for 12yrs. Got an Exceeded on my last review, plus one of those gold star awards for being a good dog. I decided to leave on a high note and was tired of the grueling work hours, plus, the work stress and long hours were taking a toll on my health.

My condolences to those who were let go today. I remember the last round of layoffs and was angry at how they handled that one. Pretty much treated those folks like meat in a meat grinder.

As others have said on here, there is work outside of Microsoft and there is more to life than the 'golden handcuffs' as some of my former teammates used to call it.

Hang in there and you will be much happier in the end.

Anonymous said...

"H1-Bs give us a competitive advantage."

Who specifically does it give the advantage to? When you say 'us' who do you mean? Are you a large MS shareholder? It does indeed help the investor class.

This is really about screwing over the American worker. It's meant to lower his wages and take bargaining power away from him.

So all of you American developers that lost your job (or will soon), you can thank your former H1-B coworker for your trip to the unemployment office.



Anonymous said...

Believe ASG was planning on doing everything today.

Anonymous said...

I was a "blue badge" since before we had badges at Microsoft. I was there for well over 25 years, during the good times, the great times and the most recent horrible times. I tell people, "we lost our way when Bill left, and we lost our soul when Kevin Turner was hired."

How many new Microsoft stores are we going to open this year, with overpriced laptops in high rent retail space?

Far too many people gave the best years of their lives, sacrificing time with their family, destroying their health and ruining relationships just to get treated like dog crap in the end.

For the people who are leaving, enjoy not being tied to email for a while, for the people still there please remember if it wasn't for our hard work back in the day, you wouldn't have a place to work today.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, Satya Nadella himself was an H1-B at one point! He came to the US on a student visa and got an H1-B when he went to work for Sun Microsystems.

Another H1-B: Elon Musk. Notable children of H1-Bs: Steve Jobs, Barack Obama. Google, Ebay, Yahoo all founded by immigrants.

If you have a problem with H1-Bs you have a problem with America.

Anonymous said...

No, what you don't get is the fact that there is a rising tide in this country of anger and resentment about having this once great nation being sold out to foreigners.

Right! Damned Irishmen.

Anonymous said...

People are talking about foreigners taking away their jobs but have your ever imagined what the American corporations are doing in the Asian countries? And these are the countries where they expect to make a lot of money in the years to come.

Anonymous said...

"Notable children of H1-Bs: Steve Jobs, Barack Obama. "

Jobs was an American. As far as Obama...what has he done but drive the country further into the ground.

We won't need H1-Bs thanks to his open border policy anyway. Rajeev will get displaced by Pedro.

Anonymous said...

"H1-Bs give us a competitive advantage."

Who specifically does it give the advantage to? When you say 'us' who do you mean? Are you a large MS shareholder? It does indeed help the investor class.

This is really about screwing over the American worker. It's meant to lower his wages and take bargaining power away from him.

So all of you American developers that lost your job (or will soon), you can thank your former H1-B coworker for your trip to the unemployment office."

That's the point. By "us", I mean the US as a whole. Where do you think all this money from selling software/hardware all over the world goes? Into the economy and into R&D. H1-Bs will spend their money/savings and boost the local economy as well. No one is screwing over the American worker. Infact, it's the other way-round. H1-Bs are being screwed over with indentured servitude. We as a country use them up but don't even give them residency.

Corporations in no-way are required to even take care of the American worker. That's capitalism. If you want "American", go work for the govt. where everything is funded by the tax payers (which includes H1-Bs btw).

Corporations are just multinational organizations. They are in no way obligated to take care of the American worker and only hire American workers.

Anonymous said...

10 years ago, it was the STE's let go, who now work at Microsoft as CSG's. Now its the SDET's.

Anonymous said...

If all of these foreign workers are such geniuses how come they don't stay at home and build companies there like MS, Google, Amazon? I realize there is Infosys and Tata but all they are doing is providing low priced labor to the US?

I think MS should pack it up and move to Mumbai if all they are going to do is hire H1-Bs. They manage to shield their tax dollars by keeping the money offshore.

I kind of liked Seattle prior to MS better. All it has done for me is create local inflation and clog the freeways.

Anonymous said...

Let's see...18,000 in layoffs...yeah, if this goes quickly, watch how the gov't will spin this to make the unemployment rate drop. It's already at 23% and there is no way Obama wants a jump in unemployment before November.

Remember how the cooked books of the official unemployment rate "went down" in August, September, October of 2012, then got re-adjusted upward, after the election, that even the seasonal Christmas hiring couldn't overcome?

You will see a few layoffs now but the full fury of this will be saved until after the mid-term elections. That's a fact.

Anonymous said...

"No, what you don't get is the fact that there is a rising tide in this country of anger and resentment about having this once great nation being sold out to foreigners."

I totally agree! Ever since 1492!!! So you must be pure blood First Nations, which tribe? Oh you're not.....

Mini: Please do retrospectively filter these idiot racist trolls. Thanks!

Anonymous said...


"..don't stay at home and build companies there like MS, Google, Amazon?"

http://research.google.com/researchers.html

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/

http://www.google.com/about/company/facts/management/

Makes sense?

Anonymous said...

Didn't take long for y'all to blame foreigners for taking your jobs. For your information, I know quite a few H1B dependent employees who lost their jobs today.

Anonymous said...

"Rajeev will get displaced by Pedro"

ignoring the typical internet political stuff above, what is different is that there are 1.2 BILLION "Rajeev"s and maybe 1/10 that number of "Pedro"s.

Miguel de Icazas do exist, but statistically, the board is overwhelmingly tilted to the Indians (and Chinese, but that is another topic).

Anonymous said...

"Corporations are just multinational organizations. They are in no way obligated to take care of the American worker and only hire American workers."

And:

"..how come they don't stay at home and build companies there like MS..."

They are using American legal, social, and physical infrastructure to line their pockets. I think that if they are going to set up shop here then Americans should have priority over foreign workers. Other countries look out for their workers. Try getting a job in Canada or France. Good luck.

I have to agree with the one American poster that lost his job. The H1-Bs should lose their jobs first. Americans should take care of their own.


Anonymous said...

"I know quite a few H1B dependent employees who lost their jobs today."

Hearing that made my day!

I hope they have a mortgage payment to make too. Enjoy your trip back to Bangalore!

Anonymous said...

Life got great once I got the ax in 2009. Ballmer never should have been allowed to run MSFT. John Kurc of www.daxwax.com

Anonymous said...

Come on folks, the trolls don't (and never did) work at Microsoft. That kind of racism requires an underdeveloped brain. Many news articles are now linking to Mini's blog, which is bringing in the garbage. Let's ignore it and get back to the issue.

Anonymous said...

"That kind of racism requires an underdeveloped brain."

I don't think it's so much an issue of racism (okay, with one of the trolls maybe) but a matter of who gets priority over employment.

The argument for guest workers is that no US citizens are available to fill the job. Before an American is let go he should have the opportunity to take the job of an H1-B. Perhaps in his org he is at the bottom rung but maybe in another group he would do even better than an H1-B.

I realize the devil is in the details as far as implementing this but I hope you get the point.

The American should get a shot at the job before an H1-B. If there are layoffs then there is an overabundance of workers.

Anonymous said...

I understand having layoffs to try to keep the company trim. And I understand the move to combined engineering. But it does make me chuckle that Microsoft proclaims it will become a company that will have fewer layers of management and then lays off a bunch of IC SDETS. Actions, meet Words. I don't believe you two have met before.

Also, as a former softie, I can echo the reassurances that there is life after MS, even for those of you who are in your 5th and 6th decades of life.

Anonymous said...

inquiring minds want to know - when you get the boot, all stock holdings are fully vested or only those that were about to vest this year?

Anonymous said...

Is there life after MS? I was just wondering, because out of all the comments posted here today (or on any of Mini's posts, really) I have yet to see someone comment that. Please just someone tell me, do we live or just disappear into the ether after we leave? Is there life after MS? Really?

Anonymous said...

the predicable inane xenophobia is a sad sight of supposedly smart people who apparently have no idea who the puppet masters are pulling the greenbacked globalization strings.

Anonymous said...

"inquiring minds want to know - when you get the boot, all stock holdings are fully vested or only those that were about to vest this year?"

Neither actually. Essentially you keep just vesting until the end date. So for those still on payroll until the 15th will be able to vest the ones that typically come around the 1st of September. Then that's it. Of course there are exceptions.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the live-work balance. I have been with the company for almost 7 years and went to work with a smile on my face 99% of the time, excited about the day that would come.

I have moved through the company a lot. Met good and bad managers, but I always had the opportunity to propose and work on exciting projects. And on top of this my achievements had the proper visibility. When it comes to work-life balance I believe it's a personal matter, a matter of how you can manage your time. Read more on time management. Start with "Eat that frog", which is a very good book and it goes beyond the time you spend at work.

I've never lost a relationship because of work or had the feeling that I am missing out on life... and the good thing about performing well is that you get the flexibility you want: working from anywhere and getting the vacation you need.

What doesn't make sense is how the layoffs are being made, disregarding the people that can deliver. They'll lose talent; talent which can innovate.

Anonymous said...

Any cuts in Bing?

Anonymous said...

Severance package details I heard from someone let go:
- Paid through 9/15
- Stock will vest (wasn't specific on all or just what is "normal")
- Will receive review bonus
- For every six months at MSFT will receive one week's pay (don't know if this is totaled separately from pay through 9/15)
- Health coverage paid for six months
- Other transition assistance

Anonymous said...

" Is there life after MS?"

Come on! Whoever performs well at MS will perform anywhere. Don't forget that there are a lot of smart people at MS. Languages and technologies are just tools that you can easily replace with others that do the job.

Anonymous said...

"Try getting a job in Canada or France. Good luck."

It is *so much easier* to get a work visa in Canada than the US that it's clear you haven't the slightest notion what you're talking about. Also, and importantly, the rules are far more consistent.

I won't comment about France because I don't know about France.

How wonderful that anybody thinks this is a good thing. Why not complain about people from California taking Pacific Northwest jobs. Or the Everett people taking Redmond jobs.

Anonymous said...

I am sure glad I am not going to be out pounding the pavement for a new job. Too many devs hitting the street all at once. Might as well take the summer and fall off and have some fun.

Anonymous said...

Any changes to the vendor policy? Can v- continue to work like they do now with no breaks

Anonymous said...

What about market research? Are they intact?

Anonymous said...

OSG person here. SDETs do indeed seem to have taken disproportionate cuts in this round. I'd be very much surprised if Microsoft's software quality doesn't take a significant hit as well. Good luck with that, Nadella.

Anonymous said...

'Why not complain about people from California taking Pacific Northwest jobs.'

I think it has something to do with the concept of nationhood and citizenship. Perhaps in our globalized NWO type of world those things don't count anymore.

I suppose you are right, with the US opening its borders to the world then we no longer have a nation anyway.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some of you need to look up how companies justify H1Bs. There are hoops to jump through including advertising jobs to "prove" that there are no Americans that can do that job. Sure, some gaming goes on, but the fact remains that it is hard to say that there are no viable candidates when you just laid off people with the same skill set. Cross referencing job descriptions and career ladders, it would be reasonable that there are people laid off that should be there instead of equivalent H1B applicants. NOTE: once they become citizens who cares how they got here. Maybe they did start out as H1Bs ... maybe not.

Anonymous said...

I been doing software development for a long time. I've seen the days when software developers were considered a necessary evil. I've seen seen software developers rise to the esteemed level they have today. My reaction is that it is pretty much insanity to be laying of devs when software plays such a critical role in tech products these days and the importance of software is, in my view, accelerating.

Anonymous said...

Mostly testers turned quality, if you can go to dev sdets, if you can't stop working so hard

Anonymous said...

"My reaction is that it is pretty much insanity to be laying of devs when software plays such a critical role in tech products these days and the importance of software is, in my view, accelerating."

Well, when you have a virtually unlimited supply from India, China, Eastern Europe then devs become just another disposable commodity input in the software development process

Anonymous said...

Lots of cuts in the Windows marketing team. Any cuts in CMG? Or other product marketing orgs?

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that Sathya has gotten rid of the 'deadwood'. We can function more effectively now as a streamlined company.

My condolences to those that were let go but you were underperforming or you were superfluous.

All of the rest of us, let's get back to work and turn this ship around. Full speed ahead!

Anonymous said...

I spent 12 years with this company and first 8 years were just great! I took fierce pride in being there and telling everyone that I work for Microsoft! And then things started getting bad to worst after moving to another group, was badly hit by the group politics, evil performance reviews which made no sense and continuous pressure from an incompetent managers! But still I tried to hang on thinking that this is the last company in the world which will provide me my livelihood and benefits which was a big mistake! One day I was called in and told by HR that suddenly it was found that I am not meeting expectations and was told to go in next one hour. That was the moment I understood that my loyalty to this company was completely in vain and I was only a headcount which can be removed without any appreciation and consideration of the achievements and demonstrated dedication!

I felt that world has fallen apart, was in a deep shock for first few days. Then I started telling myself that just because this lousy (yes I am using this word and feel completely justified) company cannot appreciate my dedication and hard work, that does not mean that I don't have any skills and marketability! It took me 7 weeks to find another job which turned out to be far better in terms of the remuneration and work satisfaction.

Today's layoffs does not affect me since I don't work at Microsoft but I have been very restless since I heard the news and my heart goes with those who have gone their home to tell their near and dear ones that they don't have a job anymore! I just want to tell them that there is a life beyond Microsoft and once you start trying out, you will find another opportunity and in few months you would be thinking like me-Why didn't I leave this company any earlier?

God bless-all the best!

Anonymous said...

This is my first review as a L65 IC dev. Assuming that I get an equivalent of rating 3 what is the bonus/stock options at my level

Anonymous said...



H1-B suppress raising market rates for tech professionals. As we tell the kids to get into STEM, they see the truth that their Dads are discarded and employers are disingenuous about hiring Americans, especially those over 40 and minorities when qualified ones apply.

Many openings on Dice are more H1-Bs and they have no intention to hire Americans. There is not a great future for your workaday programmer due to H1-Bs in our market. H1-Bs are not paid market rate and it's an indentured arrangement where, if they complain, they get black listed and sent home. Their visa is held by the employer not the employee. This is socialism and welfare of indentured workers for the company. The only ones that can file formal complaint is the H1-B or an employee at the company. That's how it's set up. Funny, huh?

Everyone hates H1-Bs except the 1% and H1-Bs and those that make their money peddling them. They see no prosecutions or penalties to anyone for breaking the thread-thin protections we have now. No wonder people hate it.


Anonymous said...

This country should only hire First Nations people. All you pilgrims should get back on your Mayflower and paddle back across the Atlantic.

Ziyad Ibrahim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"This country should only hire First Nations people."

Get back on the rez, drink your firewater, and collect your gubmint dole.

Anonymous said...

You invaders took over everything and forced your language and religion on us. You know what's up. The new invaders will force their language and religion on you too.

Anonymous said...

Heard that OSG's move to get rid of employees who work remotely came down from Terry Myerson directly. Our VP is a new report to him, and had already done the engineering restructuring to a DevOps model for our org while we were still under C&E.

The only people (to the best of my knowledge) who were let go today were remote employees. I know 3 of them personally, all 3 were GOOD at their jobs, better in many cases than people with butts in seats. I understand from one of the managers who had to let one of those people go that our VP was NOT happy, but was forced into it by Terry.

Makes me wonder what the reasoning is. I mean, we're a company that builds productivity tools to allow remote teams to work together, so why do all our people have to sit together?

Anonymous said...

Microsoft India will always be a place one would hate to work and a place one can be safe for veterans with the likes of Jitesh Shetty and Charamaine Lewis Wali. In other words, its not about being productive but abt taking credit of others' productivity.

Anonymous said...

"I am so glad that Sathya has gotten rid of the 'deadwood'. We can function more effectively now as a streamlined company. "

I don't know what team you're on, but the people let go on mine were great performers. They hadn't went up a level in a while, but they kicked butt at the levels they were at.

Personally, I don't know a single piece of "deadwood" who was let go today. They were all talented people who cared about Microsoft, and will now kick butt elsewhere. Possibly our butt.

Anonymous said...

>The only people (to the best of my knowledge) who were let go today were remote employees.

Quite false. (Ask me how I know.)

Anonymous said...

Level 64. Was always top performer. Last review she got 2. Senior SDET.

Anonymous said...

> Makes me wonder what the reasoning is. I mean, we're a company that builds productivity tools to allow remote teams to work together, so why do all our people have to sit together?

Exactly, I keep hearing Terry wants it like this, Terry wants that. After being at Microsoft as long as I have it the exec worship crap makes me physically ill (literally) when I hear it come out of someone's mouth.

Anonymous said...

yeah!!! yeah!!! no moderation right now - let's hear some specific names called out (managers) and how their incompetence hurts productivity!

Anonymous said...

As soon as Terry took over Windows was my cue to leave. Everything that guy has touched has turned to fail. Why do they keep putting him in charge of stuff? At this rate, he'll take CEO from Satya and though it won't make any sense, at least it will be consistent.

Anonymous said...

"increased cortisol"

Really? Do we really have to bring in pseudo-science from Simon Sinek?!

Hi Richard!!

Anonymous said...

For me the policies of management don't bother me so much, its the other people at Microsoft I fucking hate. I'd love to give a few people a good ass whopping.

Anonymous said...

asdf

Anonymous said...

Who the hell is going to apply for a job at MS now that this stuff is happening. This is why BillG is going before congress to beg for more H1-Bs. No American is going to want to work there until this dust settles

Anonymous said...

The writing has been on the wall for a long time for OSG SDETs. There's no need for a huge army of people just to instrument code and watch the results pour in.

Anonymous said...

Lvl 64, Senior SDET, IEB. 2 twice in a raw in past years. 5 out of 7 ICs in my team were laid off today. I don't know why thy they left those with lower performance reviews. 12 years of MS service. remarkable, but, believe it or not, I'm happy. already got an informational in Amazon from a friend that tried to convince me to jump ship long time ago.

This was a layoff with no transparency as promised. No one in my team knows why he was dismissed, even the direct manager and his manager were not formally notified who is leaving up until this point.

Anonymous said...

I think the downfall started when some fine day Sinofsky decided to make one OS for tablet and PC. I have always wondered how people at higher posts make such blunders and then even when they are fired, they get a fortune in severance. If Satya really wants accountability, how about he forgoes his severance package in case this bid to lay off test folks turns out to be a mistake. Seems like C level people never have their necks on the line.

Anonymous said...

The H1B discussion is worse than insulting. It's boring me to tears.

Moderation deliver us!

Anonymous said...

Here's the full set of things I know for OSG (I'm in the org):

- The cuts in OSG were mostly test (Not remote workers) and mostly ICs.
- The cuts in OSG were mostly about meeting the ratio (2:1 dev to test). This is why it was testers cut. There have been no words yet about strict dev to PM ratios.
- The cuts in OSG were not based on performance reviews, but some combination of performance reviews, current compensation (We don't wanna keep high paid people not earning their money on payroll), and some nebulous idea of "future potential." Basically a lifeboat exercise with compensation included as a factor.
- At least some group managers did not know they would be losing people until today (Though they may have been told ahead of time that there was a possibility and to prepare for the worst).
- The OSG Build team was absolutely gutted and suffered the worst losses of any team I'm aware of - hundreds of people, seemingly with no rhyme nor reason. This was the aftermath of Windows Phone, Xbox, and Windows build teams all merging together - lots of duplicate staff. From what I know, none of these groups got special treatment and all suffered losses.
- I have no idea if all the build infrastructure being down has to do with layoffs, but it is curious that a bunch of people lose access on Sunday night and that's when they're saying SourceDepot and ATLAS will be back.
- Literally none of this was communicated in any official emails. This is all from group managers, leads, and individuals laid off. Transparency was not a priority, clearly.

Also, I want to second the person who mentioned earlier that we were fed a bunch of bullshit about "flattening the hierarchy" and then watched as they laid off nothing but SDET ICs and build engineers. I literally have not heard of a single lead losing their job without all their ICs also being let go. Read that again: We somehow managed to create fewer layers of management without laying off a single manager. Satya is a magician.

I was spared in this round but the way this entire disaster transpired today does not inspire confidence.

Anonymous said...

Curious. If MS was such a toxic place to work prior to getting laid off, why didn't you leave sooner?

Good chance that will be an interview question.

Anonymous said...

I hope someone asks staya tomorrow in the Q&A what he means by a flatter organization. Last I checked it didn't mean laying off ICs over management. If he wants to lay off ICs that's fine - but don't make up bullshit to justify the layoffs.

For what it's worth, the tester in my team who got shown the door really was dead weight. But I don't doubt that many good ones were lost today as well.

If I were a PM I would be worried. They are probably next :/

Anonymous said...

I recall it always took two review cycles to dump a bad manager. One to strip his team, another to let him fight it out with his old reports.

Anonymous said...

Build massacre explains why winmain was closed today then, right?

Anonymous said...

Yes, PM and Ops team will be next. What we deal with tester today is unfair, and tester are sold by tester directors, architect who lies to them that testing has a future. Testing is dead.

Anonymous said...

>Basically a lifeboat exercise with compensation included as a factor.

Bear in mind that he refers to a Microsoft lifeboat, where you worry less about rowing and more about running around currying favor with each of the other people in the boat so they don't toss you overboard.

Anonymous said...

I'm a new PM and I'm worried. Do you think they will change the PM role or 'simply' cut heads to make a better ratio?

I suppose a bit (or a lot!) of both.

Looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

It also doesn't help that most non PMs find PMs useless.

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