Lest anyone thought Microsoft was kidding about slashing its workforce by 5,000 when first announced a year ago, the Redmond outfit has met its goal, and well ahead of its self-imposed June 2010 deadline.
Steve Ballmer's plan for mass layoffs was the first in the company's history, and it has already handed out 5,300 pink slips, or 300 more than originally announced. About 800 positions were eliminated in the company's fiscal second quarter ended December 31, 2009, with Microsoft reporting it had paid $59 million in severance pay related to those layoffs.
When Ballmer first announced the cuts in January, 2009, he said they would continue over the next 18 months and might reach as high as 5,000. With five more months still left to go, Microsoft has overshot its goal by 300. From a bean counting perspective, the layoffs have been a success, helping Microsoft report a record $19 billion revenue in the last quarter.