Microsoft's Latest Layoff Email

SatyaNadellaMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella sent an email to employees announcing a major layoff-7,800 employees. This is in addition to the 18,000 employees laid off last year. 

Satya's email breaks the news starting in the third paragraph: 

"We anticipate that these changes, in addition to other headcount alignment changes, will result in the reduction of up to 7,800 positions globally, primarily in our phone business. We expect that the reductions will take place over the next several months.

"I don't take changes in plans like these lightly, given that they affect the lives of people who have made an impact at Microsoft. We are deeply committed to helping our team members through these transitions."

Nadella goes on to describe changes in the company's phone, mapping, and advertising businesses. His email is considerably better than Stephen Elop's long, rambling message in 2014, which revealed the bad news in the 11th paragraph. 

Still, U.S. Republican Senator Jeff Sessions criticized Microsoft's layoffs:

"Microsoft has just announced it is laying off another 7,800 workers, on top of the 18,000 layoffs it has already announced. This means Microsoft has shed roughly 1/5th of its workforce in the past couple years. And yet Microsoft, perhaps more than any other major U.S. company, has claimed it suffers from a shortage of American workers and must therefore import more H-1B foreign guest workers."

Image source.

Discussion Starters: 

  • Assess Nadella's email. What works well, and what could be improved? Consider the audience and purpose when you analyze the tone, word choice, organization, and so on. 
  • What's your view of Senator Sessions' criticism. Is this fair given the current layoffs?