Microsoft cuts many open job listings due to weakening economy

Microsoft is eliminating many open jobs, including those in its Azure cloud business and its security software division, as the economy continues to weaken.

These hiring cuts will continue for the foreseeable future, Microsoft said, but declined to comment on which departments and businesses are affected. The company said it is accepting job offers that have already been made for open positions and will make some exceptions for important positions.

This is an extension of the hiring slowdown reported in May that mainly affected Windows, Office, and Teams groups. In June, Insider also reported on security staff cuts.

The latest slowdown, reported to their teams by team leaders, affects the company’s cloud gems — a key source of growth and investor scrutiny — as well as a new priority area in security.

Last year, Microsoft brought in Inc’s longtime cloud chief Charlie Bell to expand its products and strategies to fight hackers, and the company was considering acquiring cybersecurity firm Mandiant Inc. Now Bell’s ability to attract new talent has been greatly reduced.

“As Microsoft gears up for the new fiscal year, it’s making sure the right resources match the right capabilities,” the company said in an emailed statement. “Microsoft will continue to increase headcount in the coming year, and we will be paying more attention to where those resources go.”

Earlier this month, Microsoft cut less than 1% of its workforce of 180,000, affecting groups such as consulting and customer solutions, but said it plans to end the current fiscal year with an increase in headcount.

Moves follow others in technology. Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees that a hiring cut is expected before the end of the year. Apple Inc. also plans to slow hiring and spending in some divisions next year, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Azure, number 2, an infrastructure cloud services provider, has been trying to close the gap with larger competitor Amazon Web Services for years. The Microsoft division’s growth percentage remains one of Microsoft’s most closely watched quarterly earnings figures, which is scheduled to be released next Tuesday.

The new Microsoft fiscal year began on July 1st. This month is often a period of job cuts and hiring adjustments as the company reassesses where it wants to invest. However, such a large-scale backsliding on hiring plans is unusual and stems from fears of a worsening recession as inflation, the war in Ukraine and a protracted pandemic take their toll.

Read: Apple, Google, Amazon: The tech companies that are slowing down recruitment