Rumor: Microsoft To Slash 'Hundreds' of Marketing Jobs

According to reports, Microsoft may be planning to restructure its marketing operations, which could result in hundreds of jobs being slashed at Redmond.

Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Microsoft has not yet finalized its plans, which may change drastically once the company reaches a decision.

Chris Capossela, Microsoft's chief marketing officer, is rumored to be taking charge of the plans, which includes strategic cuts of personnel who may overlap one another in job responsibilities.

While the Bloomberg report is vague and no sources named, veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley has been privy to the same rumors: "One of my contacts said 40 percent of the Central Marketing Group (CMG) could be chopped -- a number which seemed crazily high to me," wrote Foley in a blog post. "CMG drives all the marketing and communications across all Microsoft businesses and products around the world."

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is looking for any way to take back some of its corporate computing market share, which has shrunk recently thanks to Apple, and Google. Additionally, Bloomberg sources said that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer doesn't feel that the company is getting its money's worth in the marketing sector.

Microsoft spent $13.9 billion on sales and marketing in fiscal 2011, and currently has 600 full-time employees and 2,000 independent contractors working in CMG.

Foley has also been told that departments other than CMG may be affected by the possible reorganization plans. "Among the rumors I've heard is both Windows Phone and the Server and Tools business will be re-org'd and possibly take some of the marketing headcount losses," wrote Foley. "At the end of last year, Microsoft announced a change in leadership in Windows Phone. And Robert Wahbe, the head of Server and Tools Marketing, is leaving the company in February..."

If true, this won't be the first time Microsoft has conducted mass layoffs. Microsoft let go of 5,000 employees in 2009 and hundreds more in July 2011.

Microsoft has declined to comment on the rumors. However, some information may come out of the company's second fiscal quarter results, planned to be released on Jan. 19.

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.