In the wake of handing out 3,000 layoff notices Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent an e-mail to staff.
Ballmer characterized the cuts as the second phase of the plan announced in January. At the time, Microsoft said it would cut 5,000 jobs over an 18-month-period. With the cuts made in January and those announced on Tuesday, Microsoft has now nearly eliminated all those positions.
Here is the text of Ballmer's e-mail, which was seen by CNET News.
From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009
To: Microsoft - All Employees
Subject: Update: Realigning Resources and Reducing Costs
In January, in response to the global economic downturn, I announced our plan to adjust the company's cost structure through spending reductions and job eliminations. Today, we are implementing the second phase of this plan.
This is difficult news to share. 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.
Today's action includes positions in the United States and in a number of countries around the world. In the U.S., affected employees will be notified directly by their managers today. In other countries, local leadership teams will provide more specific information about the impact to their organizations.
With this announcement, we are mostly but not all done with the planned 5,000 job eliminations by June 2010. We are moving quickly to reach this target in response to consistent feedback from our people and business groups that it's important to make decisions and reduce uncertainty for employees as quickly as possible, and so that organizations can concentrate their efforts and resources on strategic objectives.
As we move forward, we will continue to closely monitor the impact of the economic downturn on the company and if necessary, take further actions on our cost structure including additional job eliminations.
For those of you directly affected by today's announcement, I want to thank you for your contribution to Microsoft and assure you that we will continue to provide support as we did during the previous job eliminations.
And for everyone across the company, I want to reemphasize how much I appreciate the way you have pulled together to help the company respond to this difficult economic environment. There's no doubt that these are very challenging times. But together, we are making the right choices to ensure that we will continue to deliver great products and position ourselves for strong future growth and profitability.
Thank you for your continued hard work, commitment, and focus.