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posted by martyb on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:04PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

The meaning of Microsoft CEO's memo has been translated into action: Microsoft will cut 18,000 jobs, mostly from the Nokia division (12,500 jobs).

Later today your Senior Leadership Team member will share more on what to expect in your organization. Our workforce reductions are mainly driven by two outcomes: work simplification as well as Nokia Devices and Services integration synergies and strategic alignment.

First, we will simplify the way we work to drive greater accountability, become more agile and move faster. As part of modernizing our engineering processes the expectations we have from each of our disciplines will change. In addition, we plan to have fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to accelerate the flow of information and decision making. This includes flattening organizations and increasing the span of control of people managers. In addition, our business processes and support models will be more lean and efficient with greater trust between teams. The overall result of these changes will be more productive, impactful teams across Microsoft. These changes will affect both the Microsoft workforce and our vendor staff. Each organization is starting at different points and moving at different paces.

Second, we are working to integrate the Nokia Devices and Services teams into Microsoft. We will realize the synergies to which we committed when we announced the acquisition last September. The first-party phone portfolio will align to Microsoft's strategic direction. To win in the higher price tiers, we will focus on breakthrough innovation that expresses and enlivens Microsoft's digital work and digital life experiences. In addition, we plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows. This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps.

Additional reporting at: Forbes, CNET, and El Reg.

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Quo Vadis, Microsoft? (aka Microsoft's New CEO Needs An Editor) 27 comments

Jean Louis Gassée (I'll mention here only the creation of BeOS as one of his achievements) runs a piece of opinion on his blog, stating that Satya Nadella's latest message to the Microsoftians show his dire need for an editor. A 3000+ words message, full of MBA-speak my engineering mind had huge difficulties in staying awake while trying to read it, so I'm highly obliged to Gassée in his attempt to analyze the text and extract a possible/plausible "translation":

With all this in mind, let's see if we can restate Nadella's message to the troops:


This is the beginning of our new FY 2015 and of a new era at Microsoft.
I have good news and bad news.
The bad news is the old Devices and Services mantra won't work.
For example: I've determined we'll never make money in tablets or smartphones.


So, do we continue to pretend we're "all in" or do we face reality and make the painful decision to pull out so we can use our resources including our integrity to fight winnable battles? With the support of the Microsoft Board, I've chosen the latter. We'll do our utmost to minimize the pain that will naturally arise from this change. Specifically, we'll offer generous transitions arrangements in and out of the company to concerned Microsoftians and former Nokians.

The good news is we have immense resources to be a major player in the new world of Cloud services and Native Apps for mobile devices. We let the first innings of that game go by, but the sting energizes us. An example of such commitment is the rapid spread of Office applications and related Cloud services on any and all mobile devices. All Microsoft Enterprise and Consumer products/services will follow, including Xbox properties.

I realize this will disrupt the status quo and apologize for the pain to come. We have a choice: change or be changed.


Stay tuned.

Or words (about 200) to that effect.

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by tynin on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:19PM

    by tynin (2013) on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:19PM (#70378) Journal

    Looks like they just fired up the Mission Statement Generator [cmorse.org] to get that much corporate speak in so few sentences.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by meisterister on Thursday July 17 2014, @08:50PM

      by meisterister (949) on Thursday July 17 2014, @08:50PM (#70468) Journal

      Don't forget the corporate BS generator.

      http://cbsg.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/live [sourceforge.net]

      --
      (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
      • (Score: 2) by tynin on Friday July 18 2014, @01:44AM

        by tynin (2013) on Friday July 18 2014, @01:44AM (#70570) Journal

        I swear I might just be able to get away with making my yearly PDP's (Personal Development Plan)'s KPO's (Key Performance Objective)'s entirely out of these two generators. Does anyone else that deals with these kind of reviews have a similar generator / Mad Lib?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by jasassin on Thursday July 17 2014, @10:45PM

      by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Thursday July 17 2014, @10:45PM (#70515) Journal

      Pretty neat link. Fun to mess with:

      "Our business is to completely rape inexpensive meta-services and conveniently swallow timely benefits while promoting personal employee growth."

      --
      jasassin@gmail.com Key fingerprint = 0644 173D 8EED AB73 C2A6 B363 8A70 579B B6A7 02CA
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:30PM (#70384)

    Guess the just left out the 'Extend' part

    • (Score: 1) by strattitarius on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:42PM

      by strattitarius (3191) on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:42PM (#70392) Journal
      Close. After embracing, you must extend. Then you extinguish the originals. If extending fails as it did with MS and mobile, you still have extinguish. So they didn't leave it out, it just failed.
      --
      Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
      • (Score: 2) by mrider on Thursday July 17 2014, @10:57PM

        by mrider (3252) on Thursday July 17 2014, @10:57PM (#70521)

        Apparently the algorithm is:

         

        On Error Goto Next

        Embrace

        Extend

        Extinguish

         

        Yesh, even their business plan is written in Basic. :)

        --

        Doctor: "Do you hear voices?"

        Me: "Only when my bluetooth is charged."

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @07:51AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @07:51AM (#70670)

          Wasn't that on error resume next?

          • (Score: 1) by mrider on Friday July 18 2014, @02:34PM

            by mrider (3252) on Friday July 18 2014, @02:34PM (#70808)

            Wasn't that on error resume next?

            Yes it was. I guess that shows how little BASIC I've written. :)

            --

            Doctor: "Do you hear voices?"

            Me: "Only when my bluetooth is charged."

  • (Score: 2) by tibman on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:49PM

    by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:49PM (#70400)

    Who still thinks it was a good idea for Microsoft to buy Nokia phone? I was really hoping for a Lumia 1020 with Android on it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_Lumia_1020 [wikipedia.org]

    --
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    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Theophrastus on Thursday July 17 2014, @08:14PM

      by Theophrastus (4044) on Thursday July 17 2014, @08:14PM (#70452)

      a quote from the only CEO i ever knew who betrayed some basic human empathy:

      In any merger there are at most two sorts of winners, one CEO and a few stock-holders. Everyone else loses, especially the employees

      Here's yet another example of that axiom.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PizzaRollPlinkett on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:52PM

    by PizzaRollPlinkett (4512) on Thursday July 17 2014, @06:52PM (#70405)

    Since around 2008, a hobby of mine has been to make a note of when the technology industry purges workers. Companies like Microsoft are public and loud about importing H-1B and other workers, claiming there is a shortage, but then I watch MS, IBM, HP, and all the others purge workers. So when there's a new round of talk about a "shortage" I recall all the purges and just laugh to myself.

    Any reasonable person would think MS would be more discrete about this, since they're simultaneously purging workers and whining for more H-1B visas. (Did you see MS's position on the top-ten H-1B visa list for last year that just came out?) Usually companies purge workers slowly and quietly to not attract the wrong kind of media attention.

    Sure, this purge is mostly marketing, HR, and other useless people, not actual technology industry workers, but people only read the headlines.

    What really happened? Honestly, I think the new CEO is bragging about how good he is. Really! Today's managers are measured by how many people they fire. The new guy has just fired like four times what the old guy did in his biggest purge. So the new CEO is probably thrilled with himself and sent this e-mail to toot his own horn. He thinks he has made his mark as one of the great CEOs of our time by firing 18k people.

    Today's professional management class is not able to do anything positive to create new value. All they can do is destroy companies and fire people. That's actually how they're trained in schools. They buy companies and you never hear anything positive or exciting about the technology the companies buy that adds value to the company. Managers set the number for the bonus they want, and fire people until they get it. And so on.

    These 1% managers don't realize that the 99% of us don't appreciate them and what they do. I'm not advocating a revolution, but at some point there won't be any jobs left and the companies that could hire people will be destroyed. We can't all sell extended warranties to each other. Eventually something has to give.

    Violence is not the answer. If we shot all of the 1%, that would just open up opportunities for even worse people to move up. What we need is a peaceful consideration of what "work" and "employment" actually mean. The days of the corporation are coming to a close, hastened in their demise by their own management.

    --
    (E-mail me if you want a pizza roll!)
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by emg on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:24PM

      by emg (3464) on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:24PM (#70425)

      Presumably most of the Nokia jobs they cut will be in Europe, so have no bearing on hiring H1-Bs in America?

    • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by frojack on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:44PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:44PM (#70437) Journal

      You have a very interesting way of suggesting that you are not suggesting what you are actually suggesting.
      Hint: Once you start with that 1% mantra, your cat is pretty much out of your bag.

      Nokia was a Finnish company. Those being laid off are in Finland.
      This has nothing to do with H1B visas.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:54PM (#70443)

        They are starting with ~2k in the US.

        It is not surprising they are axing people. Nokia was not exactly doing very well. It got smashed by android and iphone.

        Ballmer should not have bought them. It will take a long time to shed off that mistake.

        MS should stick to making software and getting it everywhere dont worry about the platform. They dont control it anymore.

      • (Score: 2) by PizzaRollPlinkett on Friday July 18 2014, @10:58AM

        by PizzaRollPlinkett (4512) on Friday July 18 2014, @10:58AM (#70732)

        I've been researching this, and info is hard to find. Nokia is a worldwide company with only a few thousand Finnish employees. There are also 5500 jobs being purged by MS that are not from Nokia. We've learned some of these are at an Xbox original programming project that has been canceled, but not how many. So we don't know exactly who MS is purging or where in the world they are.

        But my point is more that Microsoft is not managing perception very well. To be calling for more H-1B visas (do we really believe Bill Gates just suddenly started calling for these on his own after he left MS?) and purging workers at the same time is not good PR.

        --
        (E-mail me if you want a pizza roll!)
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by turgid on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:48PM

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:48PM (#70438) Journal

      These 1% managers don't realize that the 99% of us don't appreciate them and what they do. I'm not advocating a revolution, but at some point there won't be any jobs left and the companies that could hire people will be destroyed. We can't all sell extended warranties to each other. Eventually something has to give.

      I'm hoping that these lumbering dinosaurs die a death over the next 5 to 10 years under their own stupidity as they ignore reality and smaller businesses spring up to take their place.

      Sooner or later there will come a tipping point where the only people who will want to work for those old companies are those who are desperate or ignorant/stupid, and the only people still there are the dead wood or those lacking in motivation who didn't leave during any of the downsizing cycles.

      A few years back I got TUPEd from Xerox to HCL (along with 600 other Xeroids) and it was like a parallel universe. These poor, young, inexperienced Indians really revered the big Western brands like HP, IBM, Microsoft, GE, etc. and saw it as some sort of prize or a great honour to be allowed to work for one. They couldn't understand why I personally wouldn't aspire to working for Microsoft or HP.

      They don't even realise that they are being contracted to these companies because they are so much cheaper than us. They have been brainwashed by their employers that they are somehow more intelligent and industrious than us and have these magical new ways of working that are far superior to anything the West has.

      What they end up doing is living away from their families for months at a time on subsistence wages, working under impossible pressures of work load and deadlines, every waking hour and weekends on tasks that really require large teams of experienced engineers (10+ years).

      Obviously, the projects fail or are so late (years) that they are of no use.

      But they are cheap.

    • (Score: 1) by turgid on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:54PM

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:54PM (#70441) Journal

      I can foresee a time when everything is made and distributed by robots owned by a small handful of very rich "large" companies who are only staffed by board members, VPs and PHBs with a couple of people to look after the robots.

      No one will be able to afford their stuff, unless people keep buying it on credit...

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Thursday July 17 2014, @11:12PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 17 2014, @11:12PM (#70526) Journal

        In your own statement of the problem, you demonstrate how this can never actually happen.

        "No one will be able to afford their stuff".

        So it won't happen that way, but there is a possibility that there will come a time when
        almost everything we need can be produced in quantity by automated factories.

        But for that to come into being, and survive its pretty obvious that there will need to be a
        total re-think of economics.

        People generally want to work and create and build. I suspect only the mind-numbingly boring manufacturing will be totally automated.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 1) by turgid on Friday July 18 2014, @07:47PM

          by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 18 2014, @07:47PM (#70942) Journal

          My point was that the state of affairs in unsustainable. Yes, no one will be able to afford the "stuff" so they'll keep encouraging us to borrow more money cheaply to pay for it...

          That's already what's happening.

          All of the "money" will flow into the corporations and the little people will slide further and further into debt.

          Even that is not sustainable...

      • (Score: 1) by anubi on Friday July 18 2014, @12:30PM

        by anubi (2828) on Friday July 18 2014, @12:30PM (#70757) Journal

        I do not think this is going to happen much longer. We are already loaning money out at 0% trying to kick a dying horse for another run...

        Fed Funds Rate [federalreserve.gov].

        We have for years sacrificed altitude for airspeed. Year after year we have dropped rates, encouraging borrowing, so merchants can report year over year sales increases. We are now at ground level. The lever to drop interest rates to encourage spending is no longer operational. It is against the stop. Unless they start paying us to take a loan.

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
        • (Score: 1) by turgid on Friday July 18 2014, @08:04PM

          by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 18 2014, @08:04PM (#70957) Journal

          Yes, even the Bank of England is making such noises. However, they always stop short of naming the elephant in the room. We've had 0.5% interest rates for many years now. Every so often they threaten to put them up in the next few months, but they never do. The unemployment statistics have been badly gerrymandered on the last few years to make it look like unemployment is falling, but we have large sections of the population underemployed, not working but ineligible to claim unemployment benefit (hence not in the statistics) or "self employed" but not actually doing anything. There is allegedly an economic recovery, but it appears to be just a house-price bubble in the London area making the whole UK economy appear to be growing, when in fact it's just more debt, and prices are dropping everywhere else. Because of social security cut backs, the poor are being referred to food banks, operated by charities, and then the Conservative politicians publicly denounce these poor people as being scroungers... Fuel (gas, oil etc.) is getting more expensive (and hence food and electricity). But everything's fine if you are a "striver" not a "skiver."

          • (Score: 1) by anubi on Saturday July 19 2014, @12:27AM

            by anubi (2828) on Saturday July 19 2014, @12:27AM (#71061) Journal

            That fed funds rate chart I linked to shows a little hill starting about 2004.

            If I put on my tinfoil hat, I would say Bernanke did that deliberately to force a system crash to make Obama look bad. We are in so much debt right now that any raise in interest rates is going to restart the 2008 crash and few debtors will be able to pay their obligations.

            Financially, I feel the system is gamed for the bankers to end up owning everything without having to as much as lay a brick. And our own politicians are the ones who went along with them, penning the legal framework for them to do this.

            Since we no longer believe in the Biblical "Jubilee", the French option seems to be the most likely way this will play out. I believe the banking class know this and that's why the federals, controlled by the banking classes, have so much interest in snooping to ferret out any organization of the oppressed.

            --
            "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday July 18 2014, @02:51PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday July 18 2014, @02:51PM (#70820) Journal

      I agree with your assessment. It rings true.

      I do, however, advocate revolution. It does not have to be violent. It could be like the Velvet Revolution. But it must be a revolution in that the old regime is completely swept away, and a new, better system put in its place. The latter bit is the key. If you depose thugs and criminals without having a plan, worse thugs and criminals tend to rush in to fill the void. In America's case, we need a second Constitutional Convention to fashion that plan (members and enablers of the current regime are expressly disinvited), then a revolution to overturn the current criminals in DC and implement the new Constitution.

      The tough part is how hard the current masters-of-the-universe wish to cling to power, and how far they are willing to go. Will they choose to emulate Czechoslovakia, or Kaddafi? My civilized self knows the former is preferable; my rage would take grim satisfaction in seeing the bodies of Goldman Sachs bankers swinging from trees lining the National Mall.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:15PM (#70419)

    Go, Microsoft, Go!

    AHAHhahahaahaha!

    How's that Zune working out for ya?

    I notice Xboxes are now being sold without Kinect. Hmm, I wonder why?

    Ahahahahahaha

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by FuzzyTheBear on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:59PM

    by FuzzyTheBear (974) on Thursday July 17 2014, @07:59PM (#70445)

    The indecent part is laying off 18000 people and seeing the shares rise in value.
    It rewards execs for laying off and cutting jobs. That makes no sense at all .

    • (Score: 2) by Darth Turbogeek on Friday July 18 2014, @12:05AM

      by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Friday July 18 2014, @12:05AM (#70542)

      Unfortunatly it makes perfect sense from a shareholder perspective. Reduce costs = more profit = your company becomes more valuable = share price rise.

      Yes, this is short term thinking but it also maximises share holder value. And that's the real job of a CEO - and as long as the value increases, the shareholders are happy.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @04:58AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18 2014, @04:58AM (#70619)

        Following that logic every single employee should be fired and the CEO himself should quit to maximize profits...

        • (Score: 1) by mckwant on Friday July 18 2014, @01:53PM

          by mckwant (4541) on Friday July 18 2014, @01:53PM (#70782)

          I'm confident there are companies like this. Patent trolls, for instance, probably need little more than a PO Box.

        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Friday July 18 2014, @01:58PM

          by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 18 2014, @01:58PM (#70784) Journal

          I like the way you think... and if you had any employees, i'd subscribe to your newsletter.

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---