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Microsoft Said to Cut Several Hundred Jobs, Mainly in Ad Sales

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Microsoft Writing Down $6.2 Billion After AQuantive Sputters
The grand opening of a new Microsoft Store at University Village in Seattle. Photographer: Stuart Isett/Bloomberg

July 12 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. eliminated several hundred jobs, mostly in advertising sales and marketing, as part of a review of staff tied to the start of a new fiscal year, a person familiar with the matter said.

The company confirmed there were job cuts in a statement yesterday without specifying the magnitude. In addition to reductions in the advertising unit, a small number of jobs were trimmed in several other businesses, said the person, who asked not to be named because the details haven’t been disclosed.

Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, has been working to control expenses as personal-computer sales have stagnated and its Internet-advertising business hasn’t generated as much revenue as the company once expected. The lackluster online performance prompted the company to record a $6.2 billion writedown for the quarter that ended June 30.

The Redmond, Washington-based company is also facing higher costs in areas such as marketing for its Windows 8 operating system, due in October, and selling more software as an Internet-based cloud service.

“Like any company, Microsoft continually evaluates its operations and works to align the business to key priorities,” according to the e-mailed statement. The company is “thinking about the exciting new opportunities that Windows 8, Xbox and Skype present for our advertising and marketing partners.”

Among the staff who were notified that their jobs were cut yesterday was advertising evangelist Mel Carson, one of the public faces of Microsoft’s ad business. Carson announced his firing on his personal blog and Twitter Inc.’s microblogging service.

Microsoft in February cut a small percentage of marketing positions after a review of that area that was designed to reduce overlap and help the company more nimbly respond to rivals.

The job cuts were reported yesterday by the Search Engine Land website, which didn’t specify a number.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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