For any Microsoft employees who thought the layoffs were over last spring, that appears to have been a bad assumption.
Following a lackluster showing when the company beat analysts’ expectations for its first fiscal quarter of 2010 a week and a half ago, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) confirmed that it’s planning another round of layoffs beginning today.
According to Microsoft spokespeople, the cuts now underway at the company come as part of the company’s ongoing headcount reduction efforts, and will lower headcount by a further 800 employees — far fewer cuts than last time.
Microsoft announced the first significant layoffs in the company’s history in January, at the peak of the economic downturn. At that time, Microsoft immediately laid off some 1,400 workers, and CEO Steve Ballmer said there would be total cuts over 18 months of 5,000.
In May, Ballmer announced a second round of cuts, which he said got the company close to its predicted limit a year ahead of schedule.
“Because our success at Microsoft has always been the direct result of the talent, hard work, and commitment of our people, eliminating positions is hard,” Ballmer said at the time.
Spokespeople today said the latest cuts now mean that has Microsoft met its goal.
“Earlier this year, we announced that in order to reduce costs, increase efficiency and prioritize our focus areas, we would eliminate approximately 5,000 positions by June 2010,” a spokesperson told InternetNews.com. “Today, we are eliminating around 800 positions spread across multiple businesses and locations and have completed our reduction plan sooner than we had anticipated 11 months ago.”
The spokesperson also cautioned, however, that more cuts could be in the offing.
“At the same time, we continue to hire in priority areas, but also understand that continuing to manage our businesses closely, as we always do, can mean additional headcount adjustments,” the spokesperson said.