A Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed via e-mail this morning that “the majority” of the 1,400 job cuts Microsoft is announcing today are in Redmond, “consistent with the high concentration of employees based at our headquarters in the Puget Sound area.”
Beyond that initial blow, the company’s broader layoff plan is rather modest. It plans to cut up to 5,000 positions over 18 months while adding new staff for a net reduction of 2,000 to 3,000 jobs. The company now has roughly 96,000 employees the world over, the spokeswoman said, meaning at the high end, this is a net reduction of 3.1 percent.
In 2007, Microsoft CEO said the company’s normal rate of attrition is about 8 percent a year. Of that, he said, about 3 percent is “good attrition” — meaning low-performing workers who leave or are nudged out. Naturally, attrition rates tend to slow during bad economic times as people hang on to their jobs, but the bottom line is Microsoft is reducing its work force by roughly the rate at which its low-performing workers leave the company anyway.
More coverage of Microsoft’s cost-cutting