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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

February 1, 2012 at 9:30 AM

[Updated] Microsoft announcing 200 layoffs today

About 200 Microsoft employees are being notified today that they’re being laid off as part of a marketing restructuring within the company, sources close to the company are saying.

The layoffs — the majority of them in the local area — are part of a restructuring of the company’s marketing department aimed at reducing duplication of job responsibilities, clarifying the roles of central marketing versus product-group marketing, and improving the impact of the company’s marketing as a whole.

The approximately 200 layoffs come from the company’s worldwide marketing force of about 6,000 employees. The positions affected apparently cut across a broad range of groups including Windows, Office, Server & Tools, Online Services and Windows Phone as well as the central marketing group.

Microsoft employs about 92,000 employees worldwide, 40,600 of whom work in the Puget Sound area.

Microsoft issued the following statement on the layoffs:

Given the rapid changes in technology and the shifts in how our customers connect with Microsoft, great marketing is more important than ever to Microsoft’s future success. We’re taking steps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our marketing, and to strengthen career paths for marketers at Microsoft. Some of these changes involved the reduction of a small percentage of marketing positions, to better align our resources with our business needs and clarify roles across the marketing function.

[Update 12:29 p.m.: The layoffs apparently cut across all different marketing positions — planning, product marketing, product management and business development — and are at multiple levels, including administrators and general managers, said a Microsoft marketing manager who’s one of those being laid off today.

Ad Age is reporting that one of those laid off is Chief Creative Officer Gayle Troberman, who has been involved in the “I’m a PC” and “Bing and Decide” campaigns.]

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