Microsoft launches new Consulting Services unit while more layoffs hit MSN Editorial team

Kareem Anderson

Microsoft’s transition to a mostly AI operated content publishing system is going full steam ahead as the company continues to purge its editorial staff of senior management.

According to a report from GeekWire, Microsoft’s recent downsizing comes amid the company’s annual fiscal year-end business review.

Its fiscal year ends June 30, and it’s common for Microsoft to restructure some of its operations in conjunction with the annual milestone. Overall, the cutbacks this year appear much smaller than the thousands of employees laid off by the company in some years past.

While GeekWire is paraphrasing its sources, Microsoft has been relatively mum about its switch from an actual human editorial staff to a nascent AI content publishing platform.

What Microsoft is talking about, is its new Consulting Services unit amid its first big reorg of the company’s fiscal 2021 calendar.

As of July 1, 2020, Microsoft entered into its new fiscal year and is doing so with another company-wide reorg, and according to journalist Mary Jo Foley over at All About Microsoft, the company is carving out a new division to address the “consumption of Microsoft’s three clouds.”

The new Microsoft Consulting Services organization is replacing the current Microsoft Services organization. The organization will focus on three (instead of the current six) technical domains: Azure Cloud and AI under Raymond Yates, which includes secure infrastructure, data and AI, and applications; Business Applications under Paul Mirts, which handles Dynamics 365; and Modern Work, led by Sarv Saravanan, focused on Microsoft-365-based solutions.

Microsoft laid out plans of its reorg last week and within those plans are details about who will be part of and run the company’s new larger Customer Experience & Success (CE&S) division that will now house Microsoft’s Consulting Services.

Corporate Vice President Mala Anand will be in charge of CE&S while Mark Souza and his Customer Success unit will now be shifted under CE&S as support along with Yvette Smith and her Enterprise Support division.

The move is intended to bolster Microsoft’s new One Commercial Strategy promoted by Microsoft Worldwide Commercial Business executive vice president Judson Althoff and, bring new consulting operating models to help the company secure larger deals.

Microsoft isn’t being vocal about the company’s overall reorg and thus far CEO Satya Nadella has yet to issue his usually dreaded company-wide summer email discussing substantial layoffs. According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft isn’t planning any significant layoffs this fiscal reorg but does expect the usual company churn to be a part of its overall shedding of jobs.