Speed Reads

you're fired

Microsoft lays off 12,500 employees via the worst email ever

Talk about burying the lead.

In a rambling, 1,100-word memo, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Devices & Services Stephen Elop announced that 12,500 of his employees would be laid off. Or at least, we're pretty sure that's what he says — the absurdly long email is riddled with corporate jargon and takes 11 paragraphs to get to the point, as Kevin Roose at New York points out. The move is part of a larger round of 18,000 layoffs announced today, but Elop's division was hardest hit.

Elop's epistle (which, oddly, begins with a casual introduction of "Hello there") is a master class in how to use business speak to utterly confuse everyone. Amid mentions of "appropriate financial envelopes," "local market dynamics," and "right-siz[ing] manufacturing operations," are fun and easy-to-understand paragraphs like this one:

As part of the effort, we plan to select the appropriate business model approach for our sales markets while continuing to offer our products in all markets with a strong focus on maintaining business continuity. We will determine each market approach based on local market dynamics, our ability to profitably deliver local variants, current Lumia momentum and the strategic importance of the market to Microsoft. This will all be balanced with our overall capability to invest. [Microsoft]

I'd guess that employees who had to wade through all this would have preferred The Donald's signature directness.