Microsoft Devices’ field marketing team, ran by Retail Marketing Group were made redundant last week including trainers and affiliated support staff, as confirmed to Mobile by multiple sources within the company.
Alongside the cuts to Retail Marketing Group’s Microsoft training staff, there were also further redundancies for Microsoft’s internal staff including in their engagement teams that work closely with the contracted RMG trainers.
Mobile understands that around 50 staff were notified of their redundancy last week. The move follows on from earlier redundancies from Microsoft’s mobile department, which mostly fell upon Finnish ex-Nokia staff, though UK and international staff were also affected.
Speaking earlier this year at Microsoft’s BUILD 2016 event, Windows and Devices at Microsoft vice president Terry Myerson stated ‘this year phones are an important part of our family but not the tip of the spear.’ Many took this as an indication of a reduced focus in the mobile space by the Californian tech giant.
The redundancies have caused confusion beyond the staff themselves, with members of the brand’s “Lumia Elite” (mobile retail staff who’ve progressed to the top of the brand’s online staff training portal) being told informally and unsure as to the future of the online program and upcoming events.
Mobile approached Microsoft's UK mobile department for comment, who refused instead referencing a quote from a May 2016 press release by the company stating: “We recently announced the anticipated reduction of up to 1,850 jobs related to our smartphone hardware business—this included 1,350 jobs at Microsoft Mobile Oy in Finland, as well as up to 500 additional jobs globally.”
Mobile also approached Retail Marketing Group for comment but they are yet to respond.