Microsoft cuts vacancies in a weakening economy

microsoft corp is cutting many vacancies, including at its Azure cloud business and security software unit, as the economy continues to weaken.

Those job cuts will continue for the foreseeable future, Microsoft said, but declined to comment on which departments and companies will be affected. The company said it honors job offers already made for vacancies and will make some exceptions for critical positions. It’s an extension of a hiring slowdown announced in May that primarily affected the Windows, Office, and Teams groups. In June, Insider also reported job cuts in the security business.

The recent slowdown, communicated by leaders in the groups to their teams, is impacting the company’s cloud crown jewels, “an important source of growth and investor scrutiny,” as well as a newer priority area in security. Last year, Microsoft brought in longtime cloud executive Charlie Bell from Inc. to expand its anti-hacker products and strategies, and the company considered acquiring cybersecurity firm Mandiant Inc. Now, Bell’s ability to attract new talent has been undermined , scaled back substantially.

“As Microsoft prepares for the new fiscal year, it ensures the right resources are focused on the right opportunity,” the company said in an emailed statement. “Microsoft will continue to increase headcount in the coming year, and we will have an additional focus on where those resources are going.”

Earlier this month, Microsoft cut less than 1 percent of its 180,000 workforce in groups like consulting and customer solutions, but said it would end the current fiscal year with a higher headcount. The movements follow others in technology. Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive officer, told employees to expect a slowdown in hiring for the rest of the year. Apple Inc. also plans to cut hiring and spending in some departments next year, people familiar with the matter said Monday.

Azure, the #2 infrastructure cloud provider, has been trying to close the gap on larger competitor Amazon Web Services for years. The Microsoft unit growth rate, as a percentage, remains one of the most closely watched metrics in Microsoft’s quarterly earnings set to be released next Tuesday.

Microsoft’s new fiscal year began on July 1st. The month is often a time of downsizing and adjusting attitudes as the company reassesses where to invest. Still, such a broad drop in hiring plans is unusual and comes with fears of a recession, with inflation, the war in Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic taking their toll. Microsoft cuts vacancies in a weakening economy

Fry Electronics Team

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