Microsoft to scale down hiring by 50%

By : |July 27, 2001 0

REDMOND: Microsoft Corp. expects hiring will slow in its current fiscal year
to about half of last year’s level, the software giant’s Chief Operating Officer
Rick Belluzzo said on Thursday.

Microsoft, which makes the Windows operating system, would hire more than
4,000 people in fiscal 2002, which ends next June 30, Belluzzo told an annual
gathering of Wall Street analysts at the company’s Redmond, Washington

Belluzzo however, did not elaborate, and Microsoft did not immediately have
data on exact hiring levels for the last fiscal year. The projected 4,000 hires
would be net additions that did not include replacement hires for employees who
would leave, a company spokesman said.

In April, Belluzzo said that, including replacements, Microsoft expected to
hire up to 6,500 people in fiscal 2002. A firm spokesman said there has been no
change in hiring expectations for the current year.

Return to Redmond
Microsoft has employed about 43,900 people worldwide at the end of March,
according to company data. While the company earlier faced high attrition as
many employees left to join the dot-com boom, the recent Internet bust has once
again made the No 1 software maker’s stability attractive to job-seekers,
Belluzzo said.

Belluzzo and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates highlighted research and
development, which will have a $5.3 billion budget this year, as a key area for
adding employees. Faced with slowing growth for its key products, Microsoft is
busy working on new fee-based Web services as part of its .NET strategy to
expand its reach beyond the desktop computer.

"Hiring was tougher for a period then (during the dot-com boom) than it
was at any other part in our history," Gates told the gathering.

"This has turned around 180 degrees. We will be able to fully hire the
people we need for our R&D challenges. We’re not scaling back our R&D
initiatives at all," Gates said. "We are increasing R&D head count
this year, but as a percentage, more moderately than in years past."

(C) Reuters Limited 2001.

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