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Microsoft confirmed on Thursday that it is cutting up to 10% of its global sales force.
With about 50,000 people in the Microsoft sales organization, that could mean up to 5,000 jobs cut. CNBC reports that the number would be closer to 3,000.
Microsoft employees were expecting layoffs to begin on Thursday when conference rooms were booked, and some employees were being scheduled for 15-minute meetings with their managers, according to several postings on the anonymous chat app Blind that were shared with Business Insider.
Business Insider does not have access to Blind. Only verified employees at a company can access communications on Blind for that company. The app is popular at Microsoft; some 25,000 of the software giant’s employees use it, according to Blind.
Microsoft sent an email to employees on Monday saying it planned to make wide-ranging changes to its sales organization, GeekWire reported.
The employees who commented on Blind did not know how many total jobs would be cut. Not everyone with a meeting scheduled Thursday expected to be laid off. Some thought they would be transferred to new roles within Microsoft.
As of March, Microsoft employed 121,567 people worldwide with about 52,000 employees in its global sales, marketing, and worldwide business units.
July has become the classic month for Microsoft to announce layoffs, coming right after its fiscal year ends June 30. Last year the company announced it would cut 2,850 positions. Those layoffs were dragged out over a period of months, with the final 700 cut in January.
Although layoffs can be painful for the people who lose their jobs, not everyone thinks this reorg is a bad idea. The changes are intended to make it easier for Microsoft to sell subscriptions to its all-important cloud computing services.
In the current sales structure, too many deals have to go through the hands of too many different sales and marketing people, employees say. CEO Satya Nadella is systematically getting rid of layers of management and reducing bureaucracy, one former Microsoft employee told us.
For all the changes, Nadella has a 95% approval rating on Glassdoor, one of the highest in 2017 for a tech CEO.