Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella has hinted at a major company restructure and a reduction in the vendor's workforce in an open letter to all staff and the wider world.
Nadella, who was anointed as the software giant's new leader in February, yesterday published a florid 3,000-word missive about what he considers to be the firm's core strengths and where he wants to take the business. He revealed that he will "use the month of July to have a dialogue about this bold ambition and our core focus".
He stated that there will be "fundamental cultural changes required to deliver" his aims, and claimed that he will say more about Microsoft's FY15 plans when it publishes fourth-quarter results on 22 July. But "over the course of July, the senior leadership team and I will share more on the engineering and organisation changes we believe are needed", added Nadella.
Further down the letter the software chief seemed to distance himself somewhat from Microsoft's much-vaunted desire to style itself as a "devices and services company".
"While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy," said Nadella. "At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world."
Nadella went on to discuss his aims for the vendor across three core technology categories: digital work and life experiences; cloud OS; and device OS and hardware. In the latter he reiterated Microsoft's commitment to playing in the own-brand hardware space, and hinted that it may branch into other form factors.
"We will build first-party hardware to stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem," he said. "That means at times we'll develop new categories like we did with Surface. It also means we will responsibly make the market for Windows Phone, which is our goal with the Nokia devices and services acquisition."
From here to modernity
Towards the end of the epic communiqué, Nadella spoke frequently of the need to "modernise... [and] streamline the engineering process", and asserted that "every team across Microsoft must find ways to simplify and move faster, more efficiently". The software titan will be making moves to "flatten the organisation" and everyone in the CEO's leadership inner circle has been instructed "to evaluate opportunities to advance their innovation processes and simplify their operations and how they work".
"Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture to deliver on this core strategy," said Nadella. "Organisations will change. Mergers and acquisitions will occur. Job responsibilities will evolve. New partnerships will be formed. Tired traditions will be questioned. Our priorities will be adjusted. New skills will be built. New ideas will be heard. New hires will be made. Processes will be simplified.
"And if you want to thrive at Microsoft and make a world impact, you and your team must add numerous more changes to this list that you will be enthusiastic about driving. I am committed to making Microsoft the best place for smart, curious, ambitious people to do their best work."
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