Microsoft set to lay off hundreds of Azure cloud staff as Google also cuts cloud team

Fired worker with packed box
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Microsoft is reportedly laying off hundreds of employees from its cloud business, with Google also set to make cuts, reports have claimed.

A Business Insider article has claimed Microsoft's cutbacks are primarily expected to affect Azure for Operators and Mission Engineering teams, with the former facing as many as 1,500 layoffs.

The news comes at a similar time to Google’s decision to terminate at least 100 positions in its cloud business (via CNBC).

Cloud worker layoffs

Microsoft’s layoffs fall under the Strategic Missions and Technologies organization, which was established in 2021 to drive initiatives like quantum computing and space technologies. The recent AI boom and Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI has shifted Redmond’s focus somewhat.

The move is part of a broader trend at Microsoft, which has been making more frequent job cuts following its announcement last year to eliminate 10,000 positions during the first few months of 2023.

The decision to cut a further 1,500 or so jobs comes just half a year after Microsoft laid off around 1,900 workers from its gaming businesses, back in January.

Google employees have also been affected, with employees recently receiving notification of layoffs across the company’s sales, consulting, go to market strategy, operations and engineering teams.

The company, which is behind ChatGPT rival Gemini, has been far more frantic with its layoffs. While hitting fewer workers in one shot, Google has reportedly executed at least eight rounds of redundancies (via since the beginning of the year.

Workforce reductions continue to plague the tech industry despite recent Synergy figures pointing at a trailing twelve-month revenue of $283 billion for the cloud market, and an annualized run rate indicating that the industry is now worth more than $300 billion.

A Microsoft spokesperson told us in an email: "Organizational and workforce adjustments are a necessary and regular part of managing our business. We will continue to prioritize and invest in strategic growth areas for our future and in support of our customers and partners."

Microsoft also declared that the number of workers reported to have been affected is greatly inflated.

TechRadar Pro asked Google to confirm the reports and share additional context, but we did not receive an immediate response.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!