Washington: Indian American CEO Satya Nadella-led Microsoft on Wednesday announced it was laying off 7,800 employees primarily in the phone business as part of a major overhaul aimed at focusing the company on its core businesses.
This is Nadella’s second major restructuring of Microsoft, a major employer of Indian IT professionals. It had 118,600 employees at the end of March, with about 60,000 of them in the US.
The new cuts represents about 7 percent of its workforce, compared to the 14 percent or 18,000 layoffs he announced last year in Nokia’s devices and services business, following Microsoft’s acquisition of the handset maker.
The new job cuts and restructuring will also mean a $7.6 billion writedown for the company, a one-time charge that many have been expecting, according to CNN.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s 2013 purchase of Nokia was one of his most criticized deals with analysts suggesting Ballmer was hampering the company with an ageing legacy business.
While Microsoft will not stop making smartphones, Nadella on Monday said Microsoft would no longer focus on the growth of its own smartphone business.
“I am committed to our first-party devices, including phones,” Nadella said in an email to Microsoft employees. “However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention.”
In late June too, Nadella warned of tough choices ahead, noted Fortune.
The fact that most of the cuts come from the company’s phone business is not a surprise, it said.
A Microsoft spokesman said the cuts were all about focusing the company on core businesses, which is why it just sold some of its mapping business and ad sales business to AOL.
“We want to concentrate on where we can add value,” he told Fortune.
As new smartphones hit the market month in month out, one Slovak technology buff is offering visitors to his vintage phone museum a trip down memory lane – to when cell phones weighed more than today’s computers and most people couldn’t afford them.
Twenty-six-year-old online marketing specialist Stefan Polgari from Slovakia began his collection more than two years ago when he bought a stock of old cell phones online. Today, his collection at the vintage phone museum boasts some 1,500 models, or 3,500 pieces when counting duplicates.
The vintage phone museum (website: http://www.mobilephonemuseum.org/), which takes up two rooms in his house in the small eastern town of Dobsina, opened last year and is accessible by appointment.
The collection includes the Nokia 3310, which recently got a facelift and re-release, as well as a fully functional, 20-year old, brick-like Siemens S4 model, which cost a whopping 23,000 Slovak koruna – more than twice the average monthly wage in Slovakia when it came out.
“These are design and technology masterpieces that did not steal your time. There are no phones younger than the first touchscreen models, definitely no smartphones,” said Mr. Polgari.
“It’s hard to say which phone is most valuable to me, perhaps the Nokia 3510i Star Wars edition,” said Mr. Polgari – who uses an iPhone in his daily life. (VOA)
Bangkok, September 9, 2017 : Asia-Pacific — home to more than half the world’s population and some of its fastest-growing economies — is a key battleground in the fight against pollution, one of the biggest threats to the planet and its people, the U.N. environment chief said.
An estimated 12 million people die prematurely each year because of unhealthy environments, 7 million of them due to air pollution alone, making pollution “the biggest killer of humanity,” Erik Solheim told the first Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment in Bangkok this week.
Humans have caused pollution and humans can fix it, said Solheim, executive director of UN Environment, in an interview with Reuters at the four-day summit.
“The struggle for a pollution-free planet will be won or lost in Asia — nowhere else,” said the former Norwegian minister for environment and international development.
The sheer size of Asia-Pacific, as well as its continued economic growth, put it at the heart of the challenge, he added.
The region’s development has been accompanied by worsening pollution of its air, water and soil. Its emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide doubled between 1990 and 2012, and the use of resources such as minerals, metals and biomass has tripled, according to the United Nations.
World Health Organization figures also show Asia has 25 of the world’s 30 most-polluted cities in terms of fine particles in the air that pose the greatest risks to human health. The pollution comes largely from the combustion of fossil fuels, mostly for transport and electricity generation.
Solheim said Asia is also a major contributor of plastic polluting the world’s oceans — and solutions can be found in the region. He pointed to a huge beach cleanup campaign in Mumbai that inspired Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to overhaul the country’s waste management system.
“There’s enormous environmental opportunity,” Solheim said. “Asia has by and large strong governments, and they have the ability to fix problems.”
Coal no longer king?
Solheim said fighting pollution by moving toward renewable energy sources such as wind and solar would also benefit efforts to curb climate change, which scientists say is stoking more deadly heatwaves, floods and sea-level rise around the world.
But environmentalists worry that Asia’s demand for coal, the most polluting of the major fossil fuels, is likely to grow for years to come.
Figures from a forum organized by the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Singapore earlier this year show that some 273 gigawatts of coal power are still being built, although much more has been put on hold.
In July, analysts told Reuters that Japan, China and South Korea are bank-rolling coal-fired power plants in Indonesia despite their pledges to reduce planet-warming emissions under the Paris climate deal.
The landmark 2015 Paris Agreement seeks to limit the rise in average world temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. Experts say curbing or ending the use of coal is required if this goal is to be reached.
Globally, many countries — including China — are shutting down or suspending plans for coal-fired power plants as costs for wind and solar power plummet.
Solheim is optimistic, noting that the International Energy Agency significantly raised its five-year growth forecast for renewables led by China, India, the United States and Mexico.
“There are very, very few people in the world who believe that the future is coal,” he said. “I think we will see the shift [to renewables] happening much faster than people tend to believe.”
On U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull his nation out of the Paris Agreement, Solheim sees a silver lining.
“The surprising judgment of history may be that Donald Trump did a lot of service to this fight against climate change by withdrawing, because he galvanized the reaction of everyone else,” said Solheim.
“All the big, iconic companies of modern capitalism — Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon — they immediately said, ‘We will move into the green economy.'” (VOA)
Indians have contributed to growth of iconic business firms like Sun Microsystems, Hotmail and some of them have turned into biggest entrepreneurs and job creators
There are many Indian-origin leaders who have become household names today like Indra Nooyi (Pepsi), Shantanu Narayen (Adobe), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Sundar Pichai (Google)
Hotmail.com founder Sabeer Bhatia, the company was founded in the year 1996
New Delhi, August 21, 2017: Indians are facing accusations from Americans that they are snatching away American jobs, but it’s not the case. There is an Indian- American venture capital firm called Inventus Capital Partners which is trying to throw some light on the contributions Indians have made in the growth of Silicon Valley.
Indians are stereotypically viewed as a source of cheap labor in US Technology Industry but they are much more than that. Case in point is over the last 10-20 years, Indians have contributed to the growth of iconic business firms like Sun Microsystems, Hotmail and some of them have turned into biggest entrepreneurs and job creators instead of being just job seekers.
As per a report from July, Director of Inventus Capital Partners- Manu Rekhi, the company operates from Bengaluru and San Mateo, California, he observed how Indians have left a mark in the American entrepreneurial space.
There are many Indian-origin leaders who have become household names today like Indra Nooyi (Pepsi), Shantanu Narayen (Adobe), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Sundar Pichai (Google). But these success stories were due to decades of hard work.
In the early 1980’s, arrived in the US the first generation of Indian entrepreneurs. According to Quartz report, Manu Rekhi said, “Among these legends was Kanwal Rekhi (my partner) along with Vinod Khosla, Naren Gupta, Prabhu Goel, Suhas Patil, and many others, who went on to finding notable companies like Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle), Excelan, and Cirrus Logic.”
When the early entrepreneurs moved to America global exposure was very limited and also their understanding of consumer behavior of the people in the US was also limited. That is the reason they founded engineering- heavy systems and networking companies instead of going for consumer facing ones.
Slowly, with time more Indian tried their hands at launching new ventures and also US doors opened for foreign students, thus Indian entrepreneurs turned their focus from enterprise to consumer- oriented companies. One prime example of this is Hotmail.com founder Sabeer Bhatia, the company was founded in the year 1996. Sabeer Bhatia is a BITS Pilani graduate, did masters from Stanford University and has worked for Apple before launching his maiden email service.
The 1990s was also the year in which the Indian-origin leaders were also mentors in the Silicon Valley. Case in point is BV Jagadeesh who is a Serial Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist. Jagdeesh helped to raise the seed money for Netscaler, a San Jose based company. He later went on to become its President and also CEO by the year 2000. Currently, Jagadeesh is a managing partner at KAAJ Ventures, it makes early stage investments in startups, and he is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University, takes classes on early-stage startups and valuation. Ram Shriram is a Venture Capitalist, a founding board member and is one of the first investors in Google. His stake in the company was $ 1.3 billion in the mid-2000, he also mentors budding startups.
Rekhi said that later companies of Indian entrepreneurs shifted towards technologies which were more advanced.For example, Jyoti Bansal started App Dynamics, a management and operations analytics firm, which was later acquired by Cisco for $3.7 billion on 22 March 2017. Dheeraj Pandey, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur alumni owns Nutanix, a cloud-computing software company. In 2016, it had a multi- billion dollar initial public offering. Manish Chandra who is the CEO, Poshmark, which is the social fashion marketplace. Chandra created a product which would be “unheard of 20 years ago,” Rekhi said.
For example, Jyoti Bansal started App Dynamics, a management and operations analytics firm, which was later acquired by Cisco for $3.7 billion on 22 March 2017. Dheeraj Pandey, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur alumni owns Nutanix, a cloud-computing software company. In 2016, it had a multi- billion-dollar initial public offering. Manish Chandra who is the CEO, Poshmark, which is the social fashion marketplace. Chandra created a product which would be “unheard of 20 years ago,” Rekhi said.
Indians are less than 1% in the total US population, but still by 2012 they founded 8% of all the American tech & engineering startups. The group has started one-third of the immigrant-founded startups in the US. The firms which they have founded also provide great acquisition opportunities and also made high-value public debuts, Rekhi said, mentions Quartz report.
The first Indian-American founder led company- Nasdaq IPO (Initial Public Offering) opened its doors in 1987 with Excelan going public, but the pickup in big-value exists came only in recent times.
In the last 5 years, the software and services sector, which has 17 companies, tops the list of IPOs owned by Indian founders and co-founders and has a combined market Capital of amount $26.2 billion. The second in the list were Pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and life sciences in terms of the number of IPOs (six). But, the retail industry saw a much larger market Capital of as much as $6.67 billion, in comparison to Pharmaceuticals, it was $397 million. 10 of these 34 companies that make approximately 29% were acquired following their stock-market debut.
According to Quartz report, Rekhi said: “Even before the turn of the millennium, companies like IBM and Intel had been making acquisitions, but mostly of outsourcing services companies where you’re basically buying manpower.”
But between 2012 and 2017, more than 25 companies by Indian-origin entrepreneurs saw mergers and acquisitions worth- $500 million and more, Rekhi found.
Rekhi noted, “Topping that list is Western Digital’s acquisition of SanDisk, worth a whopping $19 billion, followed by several acquisitions from Cisco, HPE, and SAP.”
Today, 14 of the 261 unicorns are headed by Indian-origin founders (private companies valued at over $1 billion) in the US. These 14 startups, when taken together have a combined value of $35.17 billion and funding of $81.8 billion, with the IT industry taking the lead, according to Rekhi.
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