Microsoft Lays Off Thousands of Sales Workers, to Focus on Cloud

About 3,000 Microsoft workers will lose their jobs in the company’s latest round of summer cuts

Microsoft announced it’s laying off thousands of workers as it reorganizes its sales force, as anticipated earlier this week.

About 3,000 people will lose their jobs, with 75 percent of the cuts coming outside of the United States, according to CNBC. The Seattle-based tech heavyweight is aiming to ramp up selling Azure, its cloud service, with the reorganization.

Microsoft has been a software giant for decades, but its emphasis on the cloud is a byproduct of increasing pressure from Amazon and Google in a competitive space.

“Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners,” said a Microsoft spokesperson to TheWrap. “Today, we are taking steps to notify some employees that their jobs are under consideration or that their positions will be eliminated. Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time-to-time, re-deployment in others.”

The layoffs come on the heels of last week’s report by Bloomberg that Microsoft would look to focus its sales force on selling cloud services rather than software for computers and servers. At about 3,000 jobs, the layoffs represent around 10 percent of its global sales force.

In the past, mid-summer has been a typical time of the year for Microsoft to cut overhead, with its fiscal year ending in July. Microsoft shed nearly 3,000 jobs at this time last summer, and more than 7,500 the year before.