Layoffs potentially numbering in the thousands started Thursday at Microsoft, CNBC reports. The company states the layoffs aren't motivated by a desire to cut costs but rather to address sales at the company, specifically in regards to its cloud-computing products. Sales of Azure, Microsoft's cloud-services product, grew 93% last quarter. Approximately 3,000 people could be laid off as part of the reorganization, largely in sales. Three-quarters of the layoffs are expected to hit workers outside the US, though the Seattle Times reports some layoffs will affect workers at Microsoft headquarters in Washington state.
While the layoffs have been rumored since last week, Microsoft stock dropped slightly Thursday when they became a reality, GeekWire reports. "Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis," a Microsoft spokesperson says. "This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, redeployment in others." Layoffs at Microsoft aren't unusual at this time of year, what with the company's fiscal year ending June 30. Last July, Microsoft laid off nearly 3,000 people from its smartphone and sales teams.