Backbytes: Say “hello”, wave goodbye

By Backbytes
18 Jul 2014 View Comments
Satya Nadella and Stephen Elop together as Nokia deal closes

Stephen Elop and company-wide memos just don't go together.

The leak of his "burning platform" memo in early 2011, for example, sent the clear message to the world that they shouldn't buy Nokia smartphones. Its smartphone market consequently fell in a few short years from 40 per cent to almost nil.

Further reading

And the latest missive from the executive vice president of Microsoft's Devices & Services business unit, the booby prize he won after failing to take the top job, is another triumph of corporate communications.

Sent to coincide with the announcement of big job cuts at Microsoft - the majority of them in his division and, in particular, at the company he drove into the ground as CEO - much of the rambling email doesn't exactly get to the point.

Over several painful paragraphs, Elop writes, "We plan to right-size our manufacturing operations to align to the new strategy and take advantage of integration opportunities", and "in the very lowest price ranges, we plan to run our first phones business for maximum efficiency with a smaller team".

Riiight. Like a spotty teenage boy trying to pluck up the courage ask out a girl he fancies, it takes ten paragraphs before he gets to the point - a large number of you are going to get canned:

"We plan that this would result in an estimated reduction of 12,500 factory direct and professional employees over the next year," he writes.

Fortunately, the "severance benefits" at Microsoft are terrific, according to Elop. 

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