For Microsoft employees, partners, journalists and enthusiasts, July 8, 2015, marked a bloody day for the company. Once again, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella took to his keyboard to deliver another lengthy email that promised focus for the company, but at the expense of jobs. Earlier today, Nadella circulated an email discussing the impending $7.6 billion dollar write-off the company would take in regards to the Nokia handset purchase of a couple of years ago.
“Today, we announced a fundamental restructuring of our phone business. As a result, the company will take an impairment charge of approximately $7.6 billion related to assets associated with the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business in addition to a restructuring charge of approximately $750 million to $850 million.”
With that news, Nadella also had the unfortunate duty to inform 7,800 employees that they would be losing their jobs in the coming months. A lot has been written and speculated about the results of Nadella’s email, but perhaps a more important email is going unattended today.
Microsoft COO Kevin Turner also drafted up an email that was distributed a few hours after Nadella’s email. Turner’s email puts a finer point on Nadella’s overarching agenda while also including several layoffs of its own. In Turner’s email, he informs Sales, Marketing, and Services Group employees that there will be layoffs under his division as well. Due to Microsoft’s merging of Microsoft Mobile Device Sales (MMDS) and Consumer Channels Group (CCG), the overlapping effect will result in a loss of seemingly redundant jobs.
Beyond the continued news of downsizing, layoffs or realignments, Turners email also points to Microsoft re-evaluating their position in mobile. While Nadella’s email vaguely hints at a play for the enterprise, low end, and potential flagships, Turner’s email points towards a withdrawal from markets, channels, and carrier partnerships.
“We will also focus on the channels and markets that offer the best returns. This is a similar approach to the one we have taken with Surface, which has been very successful. Phones remain a critical component of the Microsoft device portfolio and an important piece of our mobility strategy, but a restructuring is in order.”
As the dust settles, it will remain to be seen if the jobs cuts, realignments, market-exits and write-offs leave Microsoft with a viable mobile solution in the future. For now, it would be safe to assume, most Microsoft employees could take a breather from Nadella’s and Turner’s emails and memos for a while.