Is anyone else following this?
Is anyone else as irritated as I am by this? 2000 people getting laid off b/c their profit slid to $4 Billion. BILLION. PROFIT!!!
Say it slowly with me…
and they’re laying off people.
The world of public companies myopically focusing 3 months into the future irritates the hell out of me.
Can someone please explain this to me? I have a bloody dent in my forehead from banging it on my desk and I need to stop.
An experienced design professional I talked to said he used to feel the way that you do. Then, he realized that layoffs are usually for people who are a less than ideal fit, and most of the time work out better for everyone. He had to lay someone off and it totally devastated him. Then he talked to the guy 6 months later and he was doing great - he was so much happier at his new job because it was a better fit for all involved. The third time layoffs at this company came around, this person volunteered because he realized he wasn’t happy there. And now he’s doing something he loves.
Layoffs can be scary, but usually it’s healthy for all involved IMO. If Microsoft laid off several thousand employees, it was probably so it can stay a healthy company for the thousands who still work there.
I know companies have to do what they have to do, but this does seem a little ridiculous… And Cameron, it’s hard to believe there were 2000 poorly fitting workers that were just ripe for being let go.
I don’t get really it either. If they are productive workers and you’ve invested in their training and development, it’s shortsighted to fire them. They’ve got unique knowledge and experience with your products that new hires won’t have. You’re going to hire their replacements in 12-24 months, and you’ll have to make all those investments again.
Then again, Microsoft has tens of thousands of employees, and by average, some percentage of them are probably lazy, disgruntled, overpaid, incompetent, etc. An economic downturn gives you a convenient excuse to cut all of those people loose at once without anyone feeling bad about it. And minimizes the risk of unfair dismissal lawsuits. It’s a recession, people get laid off.
Then again again, they probably saved at least $200 million per year (salary, benefits, overhead, etc.) by letting them go, and that’s not pocket change, even when you’re making $4 billion a year. It also suggests they expect their profits to fall much more next year. If they post a $200MM profit next year, then this won’t seem like such a bad move.
I thought I had heard that most of these layoffs are in the entertainment division (XBox and Zune), and those guys have set fire to billions of dollars with no real sign of profit in sight. I believe those two products alone have been responsible for a lifetime net loss of more than $5 billion. Maybe at some point enough is enough.