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Rumor: Microsoft Planning Marketing Department Restructuring, Layoffs

Microsoft may be contemplating a new plan to restructure its marketing organization, which could involve cutting hundreds of jobs, according to an article by Bloomberg.

According to the financial news organization's anonymous sources, Microsoft's plans have yet to be finalized and may change drastically once a definite plan has come to agreement.

Chris Capossela, Microsoft's chief marketing officer, is rumored to be taking charge of the plans, which includes strategic cuts of personnel that may overlap one-another in job responsibilities.

While the report is vague, and no sources named, veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley has been privy to the same rumors: "One of my contacts said 40 percent of the Central Marketing Group (CMG) could be chopped -- a number which seemed crazily high to me," wrote Foley, in a blog post. "CMG drives all the marketing and communications across all Microsoft businesses and products around the world."

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is looking for any way to take back some of its corporate computing market that has been recently shrinking thanks to Apple, Amazon.com and Google. And its anonymous sources said that Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer doesn't feel that the company is getting its money's worth in the marketing sector.

Microsoft spent $13.9 billion on sales and marketing in fiscal 2011, and currently has 600 full-time employees  and 2,000 independent contractors working in the Central Marketing Group.

Foley has also been told that other departments (other than CMG) may be affected by the possible upcoming reorganization plans. "Among the rumors I've heard is both Windows Phone and the Server and Tools business will be re-org'd and possibly take some of the marketing headcount losses," wrote Foley.  "At the end of last year, Microsoft announced a change in leadership in Windows Phone. And Robert Wahbe, the head of Server and Tools Marketing, is leaving the company in February..."

If true, this won't be the first time Microsoft has conducted mass layoffs. Microsoft let go of 5,000 employees in 2009 and hundreds more in July of last year.

Microsoft has declined to comment on the rumors of this newest batch of firings. However, some information may come out of the company's second fiscal quarter results, planned for publish Jan. 19.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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