Tag Archive: Layoffs



SoundCloud is cutting about 40 percent of its staff in a cost-cutting move the digital music service says will give it a better financial footing to compete against larger rivals Spotify and Apple.

SoundCloud, which in January said it was at risk of running out of money, informed staff on Thursday that 173 jobs would be eliminated. It had 420 employees. The company’s operations will be consolidated at its headquarters in Berlin and another office in New York. Offices in San Francisco and London will be shut.

“We need to ensure our path to long-term, independent success,” Alex Ljung, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a blog post published on SoundCloud’s website. He said the company has doubled its revenue over the past 12 months – without providing specifics – and that the cuts put it on a path to profitability.

SoundCloud has about 175 million listeners who are drawn to its expansive library of songs, dance mixes, podcasts and other user-generated content uploaded by artists ranging from established stars to bedroom DJs. Popular among passionate young music fans, artists such as Chance the Rapper post material to site before it’s released elsewhere, while record labels use it to scout new talent.

But the cultural cachet has never translated into a successful business model. Most of the content on SoundCloud is free, and a subscription tier introduced last year that put some music behind a paywall hasn’t been as successful as executives hoped. In recent years, the company has explored a sale to Twitter and to Spotify, but a deal never reached the finish line.

Rival music services, including Apple Music, are among those again looking to acquire SoundCloud, according a report in the New York Post earlier this month. Spotify and Apple Music are the two largest players in the on-demand streaming music business. Spotify said in June it has more than 140 million users and more than 50 million subscribers, while Apple said its music service has 27 million customers.

Ljung said the goal of the cuts is to remain a standalone business. “By reducing our costs and continuing our revenue growth, we’re on our path to profitability and in control of SoundCloud’s independent future,” he said.

SoundCloud’s inability to create a stable business model on top of its large audience reflects broader challenges in the music industry. While consumer adoption of streaming services has led the world’s largest record labels to see sustained sales growth for the first time since the glory days of the CD, the companies delivering the music online have struggled to make money.

Pandora has never had an annual profit, and just sold a minority stake to online radio company SiriusXM. Spotify’s losses have grown despite rapid consumer adoption. Meanwhile, companies such as Apple and Amazon use music to draw users for their broader businesses.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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Microsoft Corp. is planning a global sales reorganisation to better focus on selling cloud software, according to people familiar with the matter.

The restructuring is scheduled to be announced as soon as next week and will impact the Worldwide Commercial Business under Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois’ global sales and marketing group, the people said.

Job cuts are likely to result from the changes, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking about unannounced plans. The shifts will be some of the most significant in the sales force in years and will also impact local marketing efforts in various countries, said one of the people. There may be other smaller personnel changes in other parts of the company too, one of other people said. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.

The company’s sales force has been trained for years to sell software for use on desktops and servers. Now it’s more important to convince customers to sign up for cloud services hosted in Microsoft’s datacenters. The Redmond, Washington-based company wants to accelerate this switch to add more revenue and catch cloud market leader Amazon.com.

Friday is the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year, the first in which Althoff and Courtois have run the sales and marketing organisations, taking over from Kevin Turner who left in 2016.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported earlier than the company planned a companywide reorganisation around the cloud.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Twitter Inc said on Monday it would lay off some employees and halt engineering work at one of its development centres in India’s technology hub Bengaluru.


The layoffs will impact less than 20 employees at the development centre, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The employees were part of ZipDial, an Indian mobile communications startup bought by Twitter last year, the source said.
“Over the past 18 months, we have incorporated the technology and talent of our ZipDial acquisition across our company,” said a company spokesperson.
Twitter said it remained committed to India as a strategic market and would continue to maintain a presence in the city.
The company had 3,860 employees globally as of June 2016. However, it did not disclose the number of employees it had in India.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


A little over a year ago, Ola acquired rival TaxiForSure in a $200 million (roughly Rs. 1,240 crores) deal that saw the two services merge. Soon after that, you were able to book TaxiForSure cars via the Ola app, but now Ola is now shutting down TaxiForSure as a separate offering, and integrating its fleet. The company has confirmed the development via a statement to Gadgets 360 that also admits that some employees will be laid off.

The number of people being laid off could be between 700 and 1000, depending upon various reports, part of a growing trend in India’s digital economy as companies that were able to spend lavishly without worrying about the bottom line, are now being pressed to show profits.

In the case of Ola, it’s been fighting against Uber in India and a recent development might have changed the terms of this engagement. In December 2015, Ola reached an agreement with Chinese giant Didi Chuxing (then Didi Kuaidi) to be part of a global alliance with Lyft and GrabTaxi, to check Uber’s international growth.

This was a big challenge for Uber, and one that tied up a lot of its funds – as late as June, Uber executives were talking about surpassing Didi in 2017. However, Didi’s big advantage in China was in the regulatory space – it’s believed to be one of the reasons behind Apple investing $1 billion in Didi Chuxing – and eventually, Uber decided to merge its China operations with its rival. Uber has taken a 20 percent stake in the combined firm, and by “shedding its massive losses” in the country, Uber can now focus more on India.

As a result, Ola likely has to streamline its operations in order to remain competitive with Uber, as the battle heats up.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Hurt by a failed $7.6 billion Nokia experiment amid growing losses in the smartphone hardware business segment, Microsoft has announced to lay off an additional 2,850 workers to the previously 1,850 jobs it said it would cut.

A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

In a regulatory filing, the tech giant said it will cut 4,700 jobs globally by the end of fiscal year 2017, PC World reported on Friday.

Last June, Microsoft had announced it will cut 7,400 jobs from the smartphone business unit.

Earlier in May, signalling the end of its Nokia experiment, Microsoft announced it was cutting 1,850 jobs and writing off $950 million of which $200 million will be used for severance payments.

“We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation – with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same,” Indian-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

“We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms,” Nadella added.

According to a report in The Verge, the latest job cuts mean that the majority of former Nokia employees will no longer be working at Microsoft.

Almost a year ago, Nadella had announced a “more effective and focused phone portfolio” with business, value phones and flagships gaining prominence.

“We’re scaling back, but we’re not out!” said Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s head of Windows and devices.

“Phone success has been limited to companies valuing our commitment to security, manageability, and continuum, and with consumers who value the same,” Nadella added.

Microsoft’s Lumia and Windows Phone strategy has failed as both sales and Windows Phone market share have declined since the tech giant’s mobile restructuring last year.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Microsoft announced Wednesday it would let go up to 1,850 employees and a Finnish union called it the end of the company’s smartphone manufacturing business, bought from Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia.

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“Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to streamline the company’s smartphone hardware business, which will impact up to 1,850 jobs,” it said in a statement, adding 1,350 of those jobs would be eliminated in Finland where its smartphones have been designed. The other 500 jobs will be cut “globally”.

Microsoft’s chief shop steward in Finland, Kalle Kiili, told AFP the decision means Microsoft will no longer design or manufacture phones.

Microsoft “will not be manufacturing (phone) devices, at least for the time being. It will do software, however,” Kiili said.

Microsoft said the move would result in “an impairment and restructuring charge of approximately $950 million” (EUR 852.6 million or roughly Rs. 6,398 crores) for the company.

The decision means Microsoft scraps what was left in Finland of Nokia’s former glory as the world’s former top mobile phone maker.

Nokia was the world’s leading mobile phone maker from 1998 until 2011 when it bet on Microsoft’s Windows mobile platform which proved to be a flop.

The Finnish company sold its unprofitable handset unit in 2014 for some $7.2 billion (roughly Rs. 48,493 crores) to Microsoft, which is closing the entire unit.

Nearly 2.4 million Windows Phones were sold in the latest quarter, around 0.7 percent market share overall. That’s a decrease from the 2.5 percent market share of Windows Phone during the first quarter of 2015, according to the US-based analyst group, Gartner Inc.

A week ago Microsoft announced the sale of its feature phone business for $350 million (EUR 310.5 million) to a new Finnish company HMD Global and its Taiwanese partner, FIH Mobile of Foxconn Technology Group, which will jointly begin manufacturing handsets and tablets under the Nokia brand again.

Microsoft had called up all its employees in Finland to hear the news which Kiili said left the crowd “silent”.

“We had rumours that something would happen but not that everything would go,” he described.

Employees at Microsoft Oy, a separate Microsoft sales subsidiary based in Espoo, Finland, would not be affected by the job cuts.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


India will not see any job cuts from Intel at the moment and the chip-making giant will only invest further in the country to support the “Digital India” initiative, a top Intel executive has said.

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“I hope the company grows in India and I suppose they are not making any job cuts here,” Thaine Creitz, director of consumer technical marketing at Intel, told IANS on the sidelines of the Intel technology and innovation tour India 2016 in New Delhi.

After announcing the departure of its two top executives last week, Intel was reportedly preparing to cut thousands of jobs across its business units by the year-end, media reports had said.

The cutbacks will reduce employment in some parts of the business by double-digit percentages. The planned downsizing could begin soon after Intel reports its first-quarter financial results on April 19, though sources say timing and specifics remain fluid, the reports said.

Creitz, however, said the number of retailers and opportunities is growing in India and personally, the company’s investment for India will grow exponentially in the near future.

Talking about more on job cuts, he told IANS: “I do not have any details which organisations would follow this procedure. Many of organisations have multiple sites so if we have people in California and China, replication of some job sites is possible. So the company is streamlining this.”

On a question of why two top executives quit Intel, he said the company is making an effort to have stability to executive staff. “What you are seeing is the opportunity to move on to new roles as we bring in some key executives,” Creitz added.

Intel has reportedly seen a decline in its personal computer market as people have started moving towards smartphones and wearables.

To counter this, in its technology and innovation tour India 2016, Intel showcased many devices from different brands, including Asus, Acer, Xiaomi, Dell, and HP, among others.

The main talk-point of the tour was to apprise people of the new capabilities that its recently launched 6th Generation processor series has.

The company displayed a number of devices, including notebooks, smartphones, tablets and convertibles that use Intel’s 6th Generation processors and work on both Windows and Android platforms.

Creitz also informed about how the new processors deliver better performance and graphics, extend battery life and increases the mobility with half the size and weight in its new devices being launched in the country.

With respect to Windows, he mentioned about the enhanced responsiveness with Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana, better gaming, security and accuracy with Windows Hello.

He talked about Intel Core processors for power and performance, Core M processors for mobile devices, and Atom processors for long lasting mobility.

Apart from this, Creitz shed light on new platform innovation such as Intel Optane technology for high performance, Thunderbolt 3.0 for lightning fast transfer of data – 40GB transferred in 30-odd seconds – and Intel Iris Graphics for better rendering of high resolution of games and 4K videos.

Answering whether these offerings in different products such as PCs and mobile devices are to cover up the revenue lost in the PC market, Creitz said that this is a very viable business and he tries to show people examples of new capabilities with PC specially with the new devices.

“The emergence of devices like wearables actually gives a platform to enjoy the experience. We are definitely branching out to launch very specific products like sensors in all kind of new markets. It is just that over time we will show growth,” he noted.

Talking about the launch of smartphones and wearables, he said data centres are also a valuable business for the company.

“You can see Intel being efficient – creating enthusiasm and new opportunities with the PCs and entirely new experiences like with drones and wearables,” Creitz told reporters.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Yahoo Inc is working on a plan to cut its workforce by at least 10 percent and it could start the process as early as this month, Business Insider reported, citing sources.

The layoffs, which would result in more than 1,000 people leaving the tech giant, is set to affect Yahoo’s media business, European operations, and platforms-technology group, Business Insider said on Wednesday

This move follows activist investor Starboard Value LP’s letter to Yahoo on Wednesday ramping up pressure on Yahoo, taking aim at Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer and her leadership team and raising the prospect that a proxy battle is approaching.

Starboard implied that Mayer and her officers needed to go, without naming her specifically.

The activist investor also threatened to shake up the board if Yahoo’s stock continued to suffer.

Yahoo spokeswoman Rebecca Neufeld said the company will provide more details on its turnaround plan prior to its fourth quarter earnings call later this month.

Starboard, which owns about 0.75 percent of Yahoo, has been pushing for changes at the Internet company since 2014, urging it to separate its Asian assets and auction off the core business.

The investor, together with other shareholders, has demanded Yahoo separate the Asian assets, including stakes in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Yahoo Japan Corp, and conduct an immediate public auction of the core business, including search and advertising businesses.

But Yahoo is resisting, instead pursuing a tax-free spinoff of the core business, which could take at least a year.

Yahoo had appointed management consulting firm McKinsey & Co, in November, to help with the reorganization of its core businesses.

The company also had plans to make big changes to its media unit, restructuring and consolidating it, including making cuts and shuttering some efforts.

In December, Yahoo shelved plans to spin off the Alibaba stake and said it would create a separate company that would house Yahoo’s Internet business and its stake in Yahoo Japan.

Reuters could not immediately reach Yahoo Inc for comment outside regular US business hours.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)