Microsoft Fires Unknown Number of Devs, Managers in Nairobi

At one time, there was a mass exodus of talented people who moved from leading telecoms operators to Microsoft and Google, to mention a few, just because they were offered a deal they could not refuse.

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It has emerged that Microsoft Kenya, mainly at its Africa Development Centre in Nairobi, has fired several employees. This development was noted at the start of this week, and while the number of affected workers has not been revealed, it would appear that a good number of developers, as well as 20 product managers, have been affected.

This is not the first time that Microsoft has decided to trim its workforce. However, it appears to be a continuation of gradual layoffs following a mid-January announcement that affected 10,000 people, or 5 percent of its workforce would be fired.

In the US, so far, Microsoft has laid off more than 2700 people this week alone. Reportedly, the affected teams served its security, compliance, and management departments.

Locally, the corporation was one of the few American companies that hired developers aggressively during the pandemic. Its hiring spree was faulted as ‘poaching’ because it offered big salaries and benefits that local companies, including telcos, couldn’t offer.

At one time, there was a mass exodus of talented people who moved from leading telecoms operators to Microsoft and Google, to mention a few, just because they were offered a deal they could not refuse.

The development also had one impact on the market: local companies were forced to adjust their compensation upwards, else they could end up losing more talent to global corporations.

Microsoft ADC Kenya has not given a statement about this recent wave of lay-offs, but as said, they are likely related to the January 2023 announcement, when Microsoft said that it would continue to invest in strategic areas for its future, allocating both capital and talent to areas of growth and long-term competitiveness for the company, while divesting in other areas.

“As a company, our success must be aligned to the world’s success. That means every one of us and every team across the company must raise the bar and perform better than the competition to deliver meaningful innovation that customers, communities, and countries can truly benefit from. If we deliver on this, we will emerge stronger and thrive long into the future; it’s as simple as that,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had said.

Microsoft has also been involved in several activities in pushing the digital agenda in Kenya.

For instance, it announced the Digital Talent Program to impart digital skills to participants, while taking a ‘sustainable approach to creating a healthy digital talent pipeline.’

Just the other day, the ADC announced a new workshop specifically created for university professors who teach technology-focused courses.

This program seeks to provide university professors with the chance to collaborate with other educators, enhance their skills, and learn about best practices to incorporate into their teaching.

We will update this story once we gather more details.