Thursday, January 22, 2009

Well, the layoff news is in. 1400 immediately let go with small severance packages (one week of pay per 6 months of employment time) and another 3600 out the door within 18 months. No raises this year. And a few other minor cuts in travel and spending.

I think MS made a bit of a mistake saying 3600 will be laid off over the next 18 months. Everyone still employed now has to worry about their job, which is probably one of the most impacting factors on morale. Not only that, but people will be hard pressed to find motivation to work when, during your review, there will be no raise tied to your performance. That being said, bonuses and stock awards are probably still part of the review period. Maybe this will improve the work life balance issues at microsoft? Who knows, maybe it'll mean a mad dash for the top spots so you don't get laid off. Either way it seems a really odd way to do things, from a morale/employee perspective.

It's a pretty small cut overall, to be honest. I would almost rather a larger cut. We've hired something like 10,000 people a year on average the last 4 years in a row. That's an insane growth rate, which is fine, but they are working on projects that don't necessarily create new revenue. We've been growing so much and in so many ways that it seems frivolous. Not to mention the huge bloating of our middle management level. There are soooo many directors, vice presidents, general managers, and so on. I feel like a lot of them got there on the merit of their coding abilities or great achievements they made at microsoft a long time ago, but aren't really a good fit for larger management or direction of microsoft kinds of positions.

I'm not really worried about my position, I think I stated that previously. And apparently my boss has talked me up to my peers quite a bit lately, which I don't much like, because it paints a target on my back, and/or creates some animosity between me and people I like to consider my friends. I don't think I'm "better" than my coworkers... I've just worked on this specific area for so long I've got it down pretty good.


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