Microsoft’s Latest Layoffs Take It Beyond Initial Targets for 2009

Seattle-based TechFlash last night got wind of impending layoffs at Microsoft, and those were confirmed today by reports at paidContent.org and elsewhere.

In the latest purge, Microsoft is cutting about 800 jobs. In January, in response to decreasing sales and profits, the company announced it would shed 5,000 positions. Although the latest cuts are said to be part of the previously announced downsizing, paidContent.org indicates that the latest payroll reductions at Microsoft take it beyond the 5,000 target set early this year.

A statement from Microsoft on today’s cuts reads as follows:

“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. 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. 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.”

Even though its latest quarterly financial results pleasantly surprised analysts, they included declines in revenue and earnings. What’s more, CEO Steve Ballmer said earlier this week in South Korea that the golden era of corporate IT spending is unlikely to return.

When Microsoft announced its purge at the beginning of the year, it reserved the right to exceed its cost-cutting layoff targets. Now many are wondering when the cuts will end.

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