Indians in the U.S. are in the news for all the wrong reasons.
If desis are not groping their fellow airline passengers, butchering family members, kidnapping babies, killing grandmas, masturbating on planes, committing medicare fraud or engaging in financial chicanery, then they’re destroying the livelihoods of thousands of workers.
Today’s desi newsmaker in America is Satya Nadella, CEO of tech giant Microsoft.
Satya Nadella graduated summa cum laude from the Clueless Business School whose claim to fame is the mantra – If you don’t know what the heck to do, then fire a whole bunch of employees. That will show Wall St and analysts you are a decisive leader!
And in line with that hallowed business philosophy, Nadella fired 18,000 employees today in what is the single largest firing in Microsoft’s 39-year history.
I cannot recollect a single Indian tech leader who has fired 18,000 employees in one go (Vikram Pandit fired more but he was in the banking sector).
Does 18,000 scalps make Satya Nadella the greatest Indian tech pioneer? 😉
Microsoft described the firings as a “a restructuring plan to simplify its operations.”
As if firing 18,000 employees can simplify operations and restore a company to glory. The garbage that big corporations spout never ceases to surprise me!
Nadella promised his 18,000 victims that he’d fire them “in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible.”
I fell off the chair in a laughing fit, I swear. 😉
Now what in the hell is a ‘thoughtful’ firing?
Most of the fired employees are in the phone production business Microsoft got from its recent acquisition of Nokia’s device and services group.
Microsoft says going forward it’ll make the bulk of its phones in Hanoi, with smaller production units in Beijing and Dongguan contributing some output.
The Komaron (Hungary) unit will close.
The bulk of the 18,000 unfortunate employees will be thrown under the bus by the end of this year and the rest by June 30, 2015.
Nadella – Clueless
Microsoft continues to struggle in the mobile arena.
Despite investing billions into its tablet and smartphone businesses, Microsoft has a laughable marketshare and continues to lose money on them.
So far Nadella has given no indications of a workable strategy to fix Microsoft’s tablet or smartphone devices.
To make matters worse, Microsoft recently launched a new tablet that will cost in excess of $2,500 with the add-ons (a must since the tablet is being pitched as a laptop replacement).
A 512GB version of Surface Pro 3 tablet with keyboard, case, docking station, mouse and Office software costs in excess of $2,500.
Apparently, no one sent Satya Nadella the memo that the tablet market is now plateauing and moving toward lower-priced devices.
Microsoft will take a pre-tax charge of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion over the next four quarters.
The charge includes $750 million to $800 million for severance and related benefit costs, and $350 million to $800 million of asset-related charges.
On July 22, Microsoft will announce its fiscal year 2014 fourth quarter earnings and I assure you it’s not going to be a pretty picture on the mobile side.
Read the link given at end of article.
There is a lot of “I” in the mail’s first and last paragraph; which suggests Satya is running the Company like a Dictator.
Sure that the Company will suffer reputation in years to come.
The letter you’re referring to is probably written by the Microsoft PR team with some inputs from Nadella.
We’ll never know the extent of Nadella’s inputs in drafting his ‘18,000 employees butchered‘ letter to employees.
But in Trumanesque style, “The Buck Stops at Satya Nadella’s desk.”
Since Nadella will get most of the credit if there’s a MSFT turnaround in the mobile arena, he will likewise get all the flak should a turnaround fail to occur.
Not sure whether Microsoft gets turnaround or not, but sure that Microsoft Windows Mobiles are doomed.
I think so too. MSFT Tablets & Smartphones are already on life-support.
Now MSFT wants to focus on low-end smartphones. They have no hope against the Chinese Android vendors.
He should have added a TL;DR note for the letter – “TL;DR: 18000 people are screwed up. If you are one of them, No need to read the letter. If you are not one of them, it does not make sense anyway. ”
I am fine with the use of ‘I’, etc, but choice of words such as ‘eliminating’ are as good as saying – “good riddance, guys!”.
It also reads – “everyone can expect to be treated with the respect they deserve for their contributions to this company”. It’s like saying – “when I kick you all out, you can sure expect it to be done with polite smile in my face!”. WTF!
Nadella is an idiot – Wrong Man for an (almost) Impossible Job.
That the MSFT board appointed this achievement-less bloke to the top job shows the rot inside the company is deeper than believed.
I feel this Nokia experiment was doomed from the start.
Maybe this sacking has been on the MS roadmap for some time now and this clueless Indian sucker became the fall guy..
I mean such a huge steps gotta have the backing of the powers that be.
Before you get all judgmental, I’m not siding with this fellow. I’m just saying there could be another angle to this that meets the eye.
1. Some other readers have also suggested in the past that Nadella was set up as the fall guy. Who knows??? This guy Nadella has no big achievement to his credit to merit the CEO’s seat. God knows what transpired behind the scenes.
2. I’m inclined to believe that irrespective of who you bring in, MSFT is screwed on the mobile and search fronts.
They lack the fan-boy falling of Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad) and the widespread partner channel (a gazillion Chinese vendors) of Android.
Plus, the products are crazy expensive. $2,500 for a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Tablet is insanity!
On search, I doubt Bing even has 1% market share.
Computers are rapidly becoming invasive devices of various shapes, sizes and forms that serve very specific purposes.
Microsoft is heavily invested in Windows and Windows is rapidly becoming irrelevant atleast in the non-business space.
Their debacle in the Mobile/Tablet/Search space is a sign of things to come for them in other segments as well.
Their fundamental problem is their inability to innovate and there is no sign of that changing.
We should not be surprised if they announce another round of massive layoffs.
You write: We should not be surprised if they announce another round of massive layoffs.
I too think so.
They call those kinds of layoffs Death by a Thousand Cuts.
I’m betting Nadella will last 18-24 months before he is booted out.
By any chance, Did you follow this not-so-important news?
Yeah, I saw that in the Indian newspapers. I didn’t realize it had made it to NYT.
India has so many pressing problems (rampant hunger, open defecation, high infant mortality, price rise, high incidence of rape, horrible income inequalities, increasing pollution in cities etc) but the public attention is on Maria Sharapova, Dhoti dress code at some club, Nayantara-Simbu, Kick (Salman Khan’s new film), Sonakshi Sinha’s weight problems etc.
A nation’s prospects may be judged by the preoccupations of its citizens!
And by that measure, India has no hope. Not in a million years.
I am looking forward to the day when Microsoft’s stranglehold on the pc/laptop market will end where manufacturers will offer choice of operating systems. We now have several variants of linux that are ready for prime time with excellent gui’s. No need to pay the windows tax anymore when you buy a pc/laptop. Right now most major pc vendors still keep their consumer linux offerings very hush hush if they offer them at all or buyers have to do their own thing to install linux but they still end up giving money to Microsoft.
As for Nadella firing large number of people this reminds me of Citi firing a ton of people and dumping businesses under Vikram Pandit who was later kicked out himself. I won’t be surprised if that is Nadella’s role here. Make unpopular decisions, be hated by everyone and finally leave. Of course he is set for life with tens of millions of dollars.