Microsoft Ad Sales Layoffs Number in Low Triple Digits

Amid Layoffs, Company Poaches MediaVest USA's Ritu Trivedi

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced in July the company would lay off 18,000 employees.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced in July the company would lay off 18,000 employees. Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Microsoft has laid off members of its global advertising sales team as part of the company's ongoing round of layoffs.

The division's cuts number in the low triple digits -- that's out of roughly 2,000 employees who are part of Microsoft's global advertising division, according to a person familiar with the matter.

"We've taken another step that will complete almost all the 18,000 reductions announced in July. The reductions that happened are spread across many different business units, and many different countries," a Microsoft spokesman said in a emailed statement.

Business Insider first reported news of the ad-sales layoffs on Friday.

The cuts spanned the company's ad-supported properties -- which include MSN, Bing and Xbox -- and in particular hit employees who were considered specialists in singular aspects of the business, the person said. Microsoft is reconfiguring its global ad-sales force with jack-of-all-trades types who can sell against all of its properties and ad formats.

The leadership team of Microsoft's advertising division remains in place and has actually grown in spite of the companywide layoffs. Earlier this month the company announced the hire of Publicis Groupe exec Bob Bejan to oversee North American ad sales.

Microsoft has also poached MediaVest USA's executive VP of digital marketplace Ritu Trivedi to lead the ad-sales marketing team, the person said. Ms. Trivedi is said to be starting at the company within the next few weeks. She had been involved in Starcom MediaVest Group's video upfront deal with Microsoft that was announced in February.

A MediaVest spokesman declined to comment.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced in July, six months after taking the top job, that the company would lay off 18,000 employees in order to "simplify the way we work to drive greater accountability, become more agile and move faster."

Earlier this week Microsoft laid off the remaining two top executives at its Xbox Entertainment Studios, former CBS president Nancy Tellem and former WB Network CEO Jordan Levin, after announcing in July that its digital video production arm would be shut down.

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