Author: News Aggregate

Microsoft Plans To Lay Off Thousands in Latest ‘Cloud-First’ Reorganization

Reports last week that Microsoft was considering layoffs in the wake of restructuring were confirmed yesterday as the company began cutting thousands of positions, most within sales teams and mainly outside the U.S. The staff reductions are aimed at aligning Microsoft’s workforce with the company’s “cloud-first” strategy, initially announced more than three years ago. The lay offs were also widely expected as Microsoft has rolled out similar cuts during the summer months, when one fiscal year ends and the next begins. This latest workforce shuffling kicked off Monday, when sales and marketing executives emailed a memo to their teams stating that employees will need to “operate in new ways.” No specifics about layoffs were included in that email, but various reports said staff reductions could total “several thousands.” Most Cuts Outside U.S. According to its March 31 update on headcount, Microsoft employs nearly 122,000 people around the world, with more than 45,000 working at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and approximately 16,000 working elsewhere in the U.S. Just over 18 percent of employees, or more than 22,000, work in sales and marketing. Citing unidentified sources, CNBC reported yesterday that the workforce cuts would “amount to less than 10 percent of the company’s total sales force, and about 75 percent of them will be outside the U.S.” “Layoffs will also fall on some groups that had supported sales staff, including...

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Massive Data Growth Sends Samsung Soaring

Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday its second-quarter operating profit soared to the highest in its history as massive data growth fueled a boom in the semiconductor sales and helped defy sluggish growth in the smartphone market and a slow recovery in the global economy. In its earnings preview, the South Korean tech giant put its April-June operating profit at 14 trillion won ($12.1 billion), up 72 percent from 8.1 trillion won ($7 billion) a year earlier. Sales rose 18 percent to 60 trillion won ($51.9 billion). The stunning result beats already-high expectations and puts Samsung on track to report the highest profit in its history for the full year. Analysts expected 13 trillion won ($11.2 billion) according to financial data provider FactSet. Other milestones may be waiting. Samsung’s quarterly profit could have surpassed Apple’s for the first time, and Samsung’s semiconductor revenue, which had been second to Intel’s, likely surpassed the U.S. company in the second quarter, analysts said. In the past, Samsung’s financial performance mirrored the global economy or the cycles in the consumer electronics industry, such as how often users upgrade their televisions or smartphones. That is no longer the case. Even as demand for smartphones that had fueled Samsung’s profit has slowed, Samsung is on a roll because its memory chips are crucial for global tech companies in the era of explosive growth of data. “To...

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Ukraine Official: Worm Likely Hit 1 in 10 State, Company PCs

A Ukrainian government official estimates that as many as one in 10 personal computers at companies and government offices across the country may have been compromised in the cyberattack that erupted on June 27. Dmytro Shymkiv, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential administration and a former director of Microsoft Ukraine, told The Associated Press the figure was a “guesstimate” based on publicly available data, his previous work in the technology industry and what he’d heard from corporate and government sources. He added that the figure did not include line of business computers such as cash machines. “Ten percent of PC install base (in gov and commerce segment) in Ukraine were compromised, half of which become bricks,” he wrote in an email, adding that the assessment was both approximate and personal. “Some critical infrastructure organizations were also impacted, but primarily businesses.” Nine days after the malicious software, sometimes called a worm, was seeded across Ukrainian companies and government agencies by a weakly secured tax software firm, officials have yet to provide a comprehensive assessment of what happened. However, an outline of the worm’s furious spread is beginning to emerge. On Wednesday, the firm behind the rogue tax software told reporters that its program had been present on 1 million machines. The same day, National Bank of Ukraine official Anton Kudin told a workshop that a third of the nation’s banks...

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Amazon Aims To Hook Buyers with July 11 Prime Day

It started with Christmas creep. Now no shopping holiday is safe from retailers’ attempts to stretch sales — not even wholly invented ones like Amazon’s “Prime Day.” The heavily promoted day of discounts limited to customers in Amazon’s Prime membership program, first held in 2015 to commemorate the company’s 20th anniversary, returns this year on Tuesday. At least, July 11 is the official date. The “day” of deals now stretches to 30 hours, with promotions starting at 8 p.m. Monday, July 10. Customers who own a speaker or tablet with the company’s voice-activated assistant, Alexa, get even earlier access. More than 100 deals only available to voice shoppers were made available starting Wednesday — nearly a week before Prime Day, Amazon said. Alexa shoppers also can get Prime Day prices two hours before other Amazon customers. It’s a pattern familiar to anyone who’s complained about Halloween merchandise showing up on store shelves in summertime and mall Santas making appearances mid-November. J.C. Penney ran “Pre Black Friday” deals throughout November last year, while Walmart got a jump on Cyber Monday and started those deals on Black Friday. But Amazon’s motivations are likely a little different, said Ryne Misso, marketing director at Chicago-based Market Track. The first Prime Day drew mixed reviews — there were lots of deals, but some customers found them tough to sift through and were frustrated when...

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Business Owners Share Summer Reading Recommendations

A book about marketing or managing employees may be the last thing small business owners want to read on vacation. But some say they’ve found insight they can apply to their companies from the subjects of books they cracked just for the joy of reading — with books about Abraham Lincoln, Harry Potter or a young woman in an alternative universe. Some of their recommendations: “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” AUTHOR: Doris Kearns Goodwin RECOMMENDED BY: Corey Nelson, owner of 4C Global Logistics LLC. COMPANY PROFILE: 4C Global Logistics, founded in 2012 and based in Lakeville, Minnesota, is involved in the distribution of chemical and agricultural products. WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT: “Team of Rivals,” published in 2005, details how U.S. President Abraham Lincoln put together a Cabinet that included politicians like Secretary of State William H. Seward and Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, whom Lincoln had defeated for the Republican presidential nomination. Lincoln encouraged his team to put aside their animosity toward him and each other while the Civil War was being waged. WHY NELSON RECOMMENDS IT TO BUSINESS OWNERS: “Building and running a business is about relationships and bringing great minds together from all different backgrounds to be successful. Lincoln listened to people, he understood their motives, and genuinely cared. He had passion in everything he did and always refused to quit regardless...

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