Mass PM layoff coming at Microsoft in mid-late FY18

Amazon pk5vq4
Dec 27, 2017 154 Comments

Mass layoff and consolidation of PM (Program Manager) roles at Microsoft in FY18 Q3-Q4, especially in declining groups like Windows. Satya is focusing on cutting the fat and getting rid of unnecessary overhead that slows down innovation. Net positive for the company and stock value, but the country club is coming to an end for many after a long and profitable run. HR is crafting a message about agility and engineering culture already. Expect similar to the SDET massacre in 2014, but instead of eliminating the entire discipline it’ll be targeted at PM-heavy groups that have grown too large and deliver little business value. You heard it here first.

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TOP 154 Comments
  • Microsoft
    yMcg47

    Microsoft

    BIO
    Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore
    yMcg47more
    Many PMs at msft are totally useless and are generally detrimental to progress. I hope you’re right...
    Dec 27, 2017 19
    • Microsoft 8675309
      The two of you are exactly why I’m glad to leave Microsoft.
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Amazon bitgone
      Lol! Msft ladies and gentlemen.
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Uber Poe
      PMs at Microsoft were useful in the old days when they'd kick ass and take names, make tough calls, and generally act as a bulldozer to clear the path for their engineers. Then they turned into the weak breed they are today who need to align align align, keep everyone happy all the time, and live by consensus. No surprise, they're now useless.
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Microsoft / Mgmt Бабушка
      PMs had a role to play back when there were dev and test teams. Back then pm played a coordinating role, with a pinch of product strategy.

      Today, PM should just report into the engineering organization.
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Starbucks SYuV73
      Thing is, all PMs could do this once upon a time but most development staff is too on the spectrum to take it. Leaders won’t make decisions. When PMs report to engineering they lie because they’re made to escalate on the same people they report to. See how well that works in government? It doesn’t.
      Dec 28, 2017
  • Microsoft SHug34
    Says who?
    Dec 27, 2017 5
    • Microsoft Bezoos
      Says some anonymous person from Amazon. How credible 🙄
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Microsoft / Product
      Karsa

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      startups
      Karsamore
      Same anonymous person who started the tier list which places Amazon above Microsoft by an entire tier
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Amazon Pdeuvay
      It is though I’m sorrry
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Salesforce / Product dsnutz
      Yeah, it is.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Amazon nWep84
      Looks like this has started happening earlier than Q3-Q4. I know of layoffs happening as we speak:

      At least two teams I know, and many more.... where else ?
      Feb 8, 2018
  • Microsoft / Product
    Karsa

    Microsoft Product

    PRE
    startups
    Karsamore
    Omg I just realized this is the same dumbfuck who made the "tier list"... Bwhahhahahaha
    Dec 27, 2017 16
    • Nordstrom douchebag
      Damn. I hope everyone doesn’t consider Nordstrom “shit tier” lol.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft / Product
      Karsa

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      startups
      Karsamore
      Hahaha fitbit.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Amazon JnIQ20
      For PMs out there, what have been your fav companies? Looking for experiences where PMs are strategic, drive value, act lean....not the opposite.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft / Product
      Karsa

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      startups
      Karsamore
      I'm not sure what teams or experiences these people have had. But I've always been in amazing product positions at msft. Driving strategy and decisions way above my pay grade. There are many, many positions for pms at microsoft to hold the reins.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft FCke62
      Look at Fitbit trying to spread their peacock wings
      Dec 28, 2017
  • Deloitte PVaQ48
    AI will take those jobs. Javascript can nag me just as well as a middle manager, lol.
    Dec 27, 2017 3
    • Microsoft
      yMcg47

      Microsoft

      BIO
      Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore
      yMcg47more
      and that is why there are many female pm :) i’ll let myself out.
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Oracle / Eng
      ensocbakao

      Oracle Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      BIO
      I give a lot of interviews.
      ensocbakaomore
      Sexism much, douchebag?
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Starbucks SYuV73
      Heh bullshit. That requires you to read and follow up. Most people aren’t doing that. That’s why the PM bags at all lol
      Dec 28, 2017
  • Microsoft / Product
    Karsa

    Microsoft Product

    PRE
    startups
    Karsamore
    Who wants to guess that the op got managed out...
    Dec 27, 2017 1
  • Microsoft C5axDuT
    Can confirm this is true. They already have an internal code name for this Project. It’s a planet much like the massive layoff last summer in Sales.
    Dec 27, 2017 7
    • Microsoft / Product
      Karsa

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      startups
      Karsamore
      I just don't know what those organizations are. I'm on my 6th team at msft and have never seen huge pm teams compared to engineering. Is it wdg?
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Microsoft surlatable
      Dev tools, specifically VSTS, Azure active directory and App Center that I know of.
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Google / Product
      Yonaton

      Google Product

      PRE
      Uber
      Yonatonmore
      Why does Joy Chik need an army of customer deployment PMs under Alex Simons?
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft windoze
      Probably because getting people to move to azure identity is a Herculean task
      Dec 29, 2017
    • Microsoft / Mgmt Бабушка
      Joy Chik is a whole other interesting case in itself :)
      Dec 29, 2017
  • Microsoft Gbiftuj
    I would love to see at least 70% of the PMs leave in my group.

    The PM to Dev ration is 1:3 which is kind of a joke in the first place. The PMs are just fighting for work all the time and end result is each PM gets a small feature.

    Would really love to see that money goes into increasing pay for people who actually create value.
    Dec 27, 2017 10
    • Microsoft / Mgmt Бабушка
      I thought Apple didn't have PMs. From what I've heard, product is owned by the eng org, end to end. In some limited cases there are dedicated product folks (pm) but they are all positioned as helping the EM make decisions.
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Microsoft / Product
      Karsa

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      startups
      Karsamore
      Hmm I mean who do I believe the guy with Microsoft attached to his name or apple?
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft nand
      My team in azure had like 7 PMs for 70 developers. Just following bonus season, 4 of them left to FAG for much higher pays. Team is a mess needless to say
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft NfBc44
      Which team Nand
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft
      Lololz

      Microsoft

      PRE
      Amazon
      BIO
      Amazon to the country club.
      Lololzmore
      EPM are engineering project managers; not pm; don’t be a dick
      Dec 30, 2017
  • Toptal Ellie🍱
    Would be surprised if skype PMs are not fired
    Dec 27, 2017 8
    • Microsoft Accidental
      Any SfB issues are down to leadership prioritization.

      ...not that any layoff would reflect that.
      Dec 27, 2017
    • AT&T panzrwagn
      I use Skype several hours daily. It routinely dumps my VoIP / USB headset connection. I can manually reset it by pulling the plug, waiting 10 secs and reconnecting. I know others with similar situations. Same headset has no issues using other conferencing software.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • AT&T panzrwagn
      When the PM role becomes perpetuation of the role, and not completion of program goals and objectives, the first step is re-establishing the program goals and objectives and manage to those. If that doesn't work, then it's night of the long knives time.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • LinkedIn / Eng Alilbirdie
      Panzrwagn.... night of the long knives... are you a nazi?
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Google / Eng ungoogley
      Woa. I did nazi that coming.
      Dec 29, 2017
  • Facebook fb_
    Anyone good at Microsoft will never go to Amazon - only the crap that cannot go elsewhere.
    Dec 27, 2017 6
    • Facebook fb_
      Looks like you are one of those crap who could make it only to Amazon. Good for you that you at least made it somewhere. Others cannot even do that.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Amazon / Product Gucci Gang
      Lol. I’ve been contacted by Facebook recruiters multiple times. It always ends up in no because I absolutely do not want to move to the Bay Area.

      But keep riding that high horse of yours.
      Dec 29, 2017
    • Microsoft Cccccddddd
      So salty. Dopamine is delicious! 🤤🤤🤤
      Dec 29, 2017
    • New / Eng
      Mr.meeseek

      New Eng

      PRE
      Yahoo, Google
      Mr.meeseekmore
      Everyone I know (+10 folks) working at Facebook is there for the cash. They all think it is a joke
      Jan 20, 2018
    • Microsoft </div>
      I was interviewed and got and offer from Facebook, despite asking the following question at the end of my interviews:
      "Fast forward 30 years, what can you say that you produced for society or to evolve CS?"
      Nobody could answer it!
      Jan 20, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng
    ngh641

    Microsoft Eng

    BIO
    I'm just a compound interest program.
    ngh641more
    Part of me hopes this is true. Been in meeting after meeting where the PM tries to sound intelligent, passes the work to someone else, takes full credit via email to senior mgrs, or blames some lowly vendor or techie when it fails. Today's PM are pure political junkies that offer no real value.
    Dec 28, 2017 5
    • Microsoft a6397
      Yes you are right. But For PM there is no time other than running from meeting to meeting. And in current setup they can’t blame EG as it will spoil. Try and solve any dispute on engineer to engineer, or give an open ended problem to an engineer and you will know the value of pm.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft Hgfre
      If an engineer can’t solve an open ended question, that makes them a bad engineer. If a PM can’t gather requirements from a customer or an external team and just adds me on the call, or answers any questions I have about the requirements they gathered with “I don’t know that’s what thy said” that makes them a bad PM

      We have a ton of bad engineers don’t get me wrong. I assign tasks to morons all the time and when I ask something like “what happens if that is not available?” And I get “I don’t know, you didn’t tell me” in my mind there is a shit engineer who will be stuck at 61 for another review cycle.

      Same thing with PMs who think their jobs are being messenger pigeons. You know our fucking customers, you know our fucking scenarios. Think about them and have a pint and opinion when you talk to external teams or customers. Don’t assume engineers will take care of your job because you just have no idea what the product does.

      Shitty engineers should be fired as well.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft a6397
      Don’t be confused between incompetence and systemic issues. Also different job requires different skill. Either dev or PM both require different skill set
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft / Mgmt Бабушка
      Systemic issues breed systemic incompetence.

      It's really very simple if you take things back to first principles. When I interviewed at Microsoft many years ago I got asked to solve a problem and was given limited information. I constrained the problem, clarified requirements, designed a solution, implemented it, tested it. Why shouldn't I be able to do the same in my day-to-day job as an engineer. Why do I need a PM to think instead of me? That's total BS and something that I've been trying hard to obliterate across MSFT.

      There's a role for pm (rather product) to play, but it's not what they are doing today. And, as I said, pm should report through the engineering organization.
      Dec 29, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng qoC3H
      Aah the PM ... the peeps who Program nothing and Manage nobody
      Jan 3, 2018
  • Microsoft hehv3
    Garbage. This EM needs and values our PMs...
    Dec 27, 2017 4
    • Microsoft / Mgmt Бабушка
      Really? For what exactly?
      I've worked with a few PMs who brought value to the table but for the most part the discipline these days tends to meddle with what can and should be owned by the engineering teams instead of doing product
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Microsoft / Product
      Karsa

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      startups
      Karsamore
      Well for starters most pms can formulate an entire sentence...
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Facebook Blind4Lyfe
      This sentence perfectly reflects MSFT culture. Hopefully, the one they are going to burn to the ground.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft / Mgmt Бабушка
      @Karsa:
      As someone who's been both a PM and an engineer, and has managed both disciplines, I can tell you that 90% fo what pm at Microsoft does can and should be done by engineering, marketing and UX.

      The other 10 can be done by a dedicated pm but that pm needs to be folded in the engineering organization.

      The current setup where the pm is a peer of the engineering manager (or -- as is practiced in some disfunctional organizations -- claimed to be the CEO of the product) makes no sense is an antiquated practice from the days of dev/test/pm and boxed software delivered once every 3 years. Furthermore it's insulting to the IC engineers on the team. A Sr swe has less product decision making power than a L60 pm...

      To be clear -- PM is a *very* kushy job. That's why you see all sorts of pm-centric mental models of the world...
      Dec 29, 2017
  • LinkedIn
    gaijin1

    LinkedIn

    PRE
    Amazon, Microsoft
    gaijin1more
    Meh. They’ll join FAG
    Dec 27, 2017 0
  • Guidewire Lawn
    Seems like FB hires up Microsoft ppl
    Dec 27, 2017 8
    • Facebook Blind4Lyfe
      Lol Amazon is next level fighting. It is barely controlled chaos.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Facebook Blind4Lyfe
      Yes, FB hires all of the good old hat MSFT people. It is like mini-MSFT in Seattle.
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Nordstrom
      HrEj76

      Nordstrom

      PRE
      Amazon
      HrEj76more
      The MS disease is everywhere in Seattle. Many have migrated to Amazon, some at Nordstrom etc...
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft / Product
      Karsa

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      startups
      Karsamore
      Come on bro, nobody left msft to go sell shoes online.
      Dec 31, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng qoC3H
      Actually few ppl from the cafeteria did go to Nordstrom
      Jan 3, 2018
  • Google / Product
    Yonaton

    Google Product

    PRE
    Uber
    Yonatonmore
    I heard the same. Look at C&E compliance group under Tom Keane! Oy!
    Dec 27, 2017 2
    • Microsoft / IT QLIA15
      Those actually helped me. Azure Govt needs help to get on par with the public cloud
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Microsoft tCbL47
      Agreed. AzGov is treated like a second class citizen. We piss off the gov customers enough and they just will not come back.
      Dec 27, 2017
  • Microsoft Alumni
    Rajesh, stop spreading nonsense. I know you had a bad time in Microsoft and got managed out and went to Amazon. But you fucked multiple groups with your fucked up working style and pissed off a lot of people. PM reorg in Microsoft started years ago with leads becoming ICs and no refill when people leave. So stop creating fear and your grudge against WDG, who managed you out. I feel sorry for you dude, but you need to yourself in a mirror, and grow up!
    Dec 28, 2017 2
    • Microsoft / Product
      Karsa

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      startups
      Karsamore
      You know who the op is? Post fill name please.
      Dec 31, 2017
    • Jarvis?
      Jan 11, 2018
  • Microsoft QYkC86
    Same as HW groups in Surface that is super overlap after Xbox being absorbed under Surface. Insane to see the best selling product is under an org that couldn’t sell and no one wants beside the Pro
    Dec 27, 2017 2
    • Microsoft / Product
      Karsa

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      startups
      Karsamore
      Only hardware is there, "Xbox" is its own org now
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      Engineer at AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      How do Xbox and surface compare?
      Dec 27, 2017
  • Microsoft Xsjd65
    I hope to see massive cuts in MSC. It seems the old Brian Tobey group is alive and well after he "retired" . Same club of people who only talk and do 0 work. They have been chocking out surface projects for years and one of the main reasons costs are insane.
    Dec 27, 2017 0
  • SpaceX chbp55
    Wow. So they fired the SDET, the product quality tanked immediately, now they will drive up innovation by firing the PMs? In my days in Windows the PMs were the ones pushing new features but what do I know...
    Dec 27, 2017 4
    • Amazon / Eng Scalaking
      Are you fucking high as a kite? Do you remember Windows Vista 2009?
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Google / Product
      Yonaton

      Google Product

      PRE
      Uber
      Yonatonmore
      Windows Insiders are doing all the testing on chief Ninja Dona. Why pay people?
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft nand
      Dona single handedly tests everyone 😹😹
      Dec 28, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng QgVw70
      Dona is so hot though
      Dec 28, 2017
  • Neal Analytics / Sales shellykam
    Is this verified?
    Dec 27, 2017 2
    • Microsoft Cjeirmfj
      Yes.
      Backed by amazon customer Service.
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Amazon / Eng Scalaking
      Is your Mom verified?
      Dec 27, 2017
  • Microsoft TecA10
    Be careful what you wish for. It just means we will need to do work that they were doing that engineers arent interested in. Like the sdet thing now everything is dog fooding, big bashes and data science.
    Dec 27, 2017 2
    • Amazon / Eng Scalaking
      I literally think Siri could do a PM job... Siri being the saddest attempt at NLP I’ve ever seen.
      Dec 27, 2017
    • Microsoft / Mgmt Бабушка
      Engineers need to get used to and embrace the new reality, which is that you can't claim to be a successful engineer at a top company without fully owning your product -- from inception, through product-market fit and customer awareness, through design, coding, testing, monitoring and support.

      Anything else is insanity propagated by artificial over separation of responsibilities. That used to be the case with test once upon a time, and is now is the case with pm
      Dec 29, 2017

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