Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, one of Microsoft’s main public relations agencies, has laid off 43 employees — about 5 percent of its worldwide workforce — a result in part to Microsoft’s recent companywide reorganization.
Most of the employees affected work in Waggener Edstrom’s Seattle and Portland offices. Microsoft is one of Waggener Edstrom’s biggest clients.
As part of a companywide reorganization begun in July, Microsoft centralized its marketing and communications functions.
Peter Wootton, a senior vice president at Waggener Edstrom, attributed the layoffs to “client budget cuts” — mainly Microsoft’s — as well as the PR agency’s plan to move to an automated insights-and-analytics system that replaces a team that had previously provided that type of research.
Waggener Edstrom has about 850 employees in 19 offices worldwide.
Microsoft works with several outside PR agencies in addition to Waggener Edstrom, including Edelman, Weber Shandwick and Burson-Marsteller. It was not immediately known if those agencies are affected by Microsoft’s reorganization as well.