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As posted on Microsoft is laying off ‘thousands’ of staff in a major global sales reorganization

Microsoft is poised to layoff thousands of employees worldwide in a move to reorganize its salesforce.

A source with knowledge of the planned downsizing told TechCrunch that the U.S. firm would lay off “thousands” of staff across the world. The restructuring is set to include an organizational merger that involves its enterprise customer unit and one or more of its SME-focused divisions. The changes are set to be announced next week, we understand.

Microsoft declined to comment.

Earlier this weekend, the Puget Sound Business Journal, Bloomberg and The Seattle Times all reported ‘major’ layoffs related to a move to increase the emphasis on cloud services within Microsoft’s sales teams worldwide. Bloomberg said the redundancies would be “some of the most significant in the sales force in years.”

The reorganization looks to be a result of a change of leadership this past year. Executives Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois took charge of Microsoft’s sales and marketing divisions following the exit of long-serving COO Kevin Turner last summer. Althoff, for one, has been public in his criticism of previous sales approaches, and he is keen to make Azure a central part of the focus.

At any rate, the time is right for change, historically. The end of Microsoft’s fiscal year typically falls in July, and it recent years it has been a time when the firm has announced headcount reductions.

Last year, Microsoft announced that it would cut 2,850 jobs — including at least 900 from its sales group, according to The Seattle Times — having two months earlier said it would let go of 1,850 staff related to its smartphone business. In July 2015, it made 7,800 job cuts and wrote down $7.6 billion of its Nokia acquisition.

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