Major Changes Coming at Microsoft, Report Suggests

Dennis Faas's picture

It's expected Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer will introduce a major shakeup at his firm. According to a new report, layoffs of prominent Microsoft officials could be at the heart of that makeover.

AllThingsD blogger and Microsoft insider Kara Swisher says she's learned Ballmer will officially unveil his plans to restructure Microsoft in a meeting with company executives sometime between now and July 1, 2013.

Swisher suggests a key component of that restructuring plan will involve layoffs and that "many top managers" are "worried" this could result in the end of their tenures with the Redmond, Washington-based firm. (Source:

Ballmer Expected to Concentrate Power at the Top

Ballmer's goal, Swisher suggests, could be a 'tightening' of upper-level Microsoft management. This would involve eliminating a number of executive positions and giving a competent few more power over the company.

Swisher's sources within Microsoft have indicated this would only cement the current system. In recent months, Ballmer has reportedly cut many of his top executives out of major decision-making discussions.

"It feels like it is going to be titanic," one anonymous Microsoft employee said of the impending realignment. "And it's the first time in a long time that it feels like ... there will be some major shifts, including some departures."

This would hardly be the first Ballmer shakeup. Microsoft's CEO made major headlines last fall by laying off veteran Windows division leader Steven Sinofsky less than a month following the disappointing launch of Windows 8.

Xbox One Unveiling Only the Latest Blunder

There are plenty of reasons for a top-level makeover at Microsoft. The firm has struggled to convince many consumers to purchase its Windows 8 operating system or its Surface tablet computer.

More recently, the firm seriously botched its Xbox One unveiling by revealing unpopular policies restricting the selling of used games and requiring gamers be online at least once every 24 hours. (The firm has since eliminated these policies.) (Source:

Swisher's source says Ballmer's shakeup is about more than just putting Microsoft back on track, however. Instead, it could be about the CEO saving face.

"Steve is doing this change for his legacy," the employee said. (Source:

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