Microsoft Asks Employees to Cut Travel, Training Expenses

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Microsoft is asking employees to cut back on spending on things like travel, training and company events in an effort to keep costs under control.

Managers have told staff about cutbacks to Microsoft’s budget, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Tuesday (Aug. 9), citing unnamed sources. For example, at a recent picnic for one company team, managers covered the cost of food and drinks, something the tech giant would have handled in the past.

A spokeswoman for Microsoft referred WSJ to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Amy Hood’s comments last month, per the report, following its fourth-quarter earnings report that the company will invest in growth “while maintaining intense focus on operational excellence and execution discipline.”

The company has also been looking for other ways to cut costs, announcing a hiring freeze and plans to lay off fewer than 1% of its employees, according to the report. That includes some employees in Microsoft’s Modern Life Experiences group, which helps develop consumer software products.

And in July, Hood told employees during a company meeting to watch over expenses and think twice before submitting them, the report stated.

As PYMNTS reported last month, this is part of a broader trend among tech companies that are responding to economic pressure and a looming recession with layoffs and hiring freezes. Job postings in tech hubs like Austin and San Francisco dropped 8.4% between June and July, while overall job postings that included the term “metaverse” fell more than 80% this spring.

Read more: Google, Facebook Slow Hiring for Metaverse Jobs

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Meta’s earnings call in late July that he’s “slowing the pace” of long-term investments and easting back hiring plans as its revenue has fallen. And Apple said last month that it would be “more deliberate” in recruiting, while Google has also slowed down its hiring as it continues to work quickly to make the most of the growth in popularity of augmented reality.