Microsoft Layoffs Continue, and Global Ad Sales Force Is Latest Victim

Executive team largely intact

Last week, Microsoft laid off most of its advertising sales force as part of 18,000 proposed job cuts announced by CEO Satya Nadella in July. Business Insider broke the story Friday, citing unnamed sources and noting that ad workers in offices around the globe likely are affected.
 
These employees are primarily responsible for selling advertising space across Microsoft's extensive network of holdings. This includes popular platforms and properties such as MSN, Bing, Xbox and Skype.
 
The announcement comes on the heels of news from CRN.com that the technology powerhouse shut down its global agencies and accounts team, which managed relationships with outside creative shops and marketers. Microsoft also eliminated Yarn, a creative team that kept advertisers abreast of Microsoft's ever-evolving platforms.
 
While it appears the extensive layoffs only scratch the surface of Microsoft's proposed six-month-long cut scheme, the Microsoft Advertising executive team remains largely untouched. Some speculate Microsoft could use this streamlined force to home in on key brands, focusing on the quality of its advertising partners rather than the quantity.
 
For some, the new direction might not come as a surprise. After all, Business Insider reported tension between Microsoft's advertising and browser divisions two years ago. It appears BI's past speculations about the disbandment of Microsoft Advertising may, in fact, be coming true.