To get a letter
To get a call
To get a promotion
To get an apology
To get a letter
To get a call
To get a promotion
To get an apology
SEATTLE — Microsoft said Thursday that it planned to eliminate up to 18,000 jobs over the next year in a shake-up intended to help the company move more quickly in the market.
The cuts are the largest in the company’s 39-year history, representing about 14 percent of its work force.
Microsoft will make the deepest cuts from the businesses it acquired from the Finnish phone maker Nokia. About 12,500 of the jobs being eliminated will come from the Nokia groups, or from overlap at Microsoft resulting from the deal. Microsoft said 1,100 job cuts would come from Finland, and another 1,800 from a Nokia factory in Hungary.
That is about half the number of employees who joined Microsoft from Nokia a few months ago, when Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia’s mobile business. In related news, Microsoft said it would no longer make Nokia phones based on the Android operating system, switching its low-end phones to Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.
Microsoft said it would take a charge of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion to cover severance and related costs from the layoffs over the next year.
On Thursday, Satya Nadella, the company’s chief executive, said in an email to employees announcing the job cuts that the layoffs are an effort to become more agile, a message he has given repeatedly since he took the job in February. “Having a clear focus is the start of the journey, not the end,” he said in the email. “The more difficult steps are creating the organization and culture to bring our ambitions to life.”
He added: “The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our work force.”
The huge job cuts in the businesses it acquired from Nokia raise questions about Microsoft’s plans in the market for mobile devices. The acquisition, initiated by Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s previous chief executive, greatly increased the company’s presence in the hardware business, which is outside its traditional expertise. The deal has been an unpopular one with investors and many people inside Microsoft.
“It is particularly important to recognize that the role of phones within Microsoft is different than it was within Nokia,” Stephen Elop, a former Nokia chief executive who now runs the devices group at Microsoft, said in an email to employees on Thursday. “Whereas the hardware business of phones within Nokia was an end unto itself, within Microsoft all our devices are intended to embody the finest of Microsoft’s digital work and digital life experiences, while accruing value to Microsoft’s overall strategy.”
After the initial announcement of Microsoft’s acquisition, Nokia employees and the wider Finnish community greeted the pending deal with growing pessimism, according to David J. Cord, an American based in Helsinki and the author of “The Decline and Fall of Nokia.”
Mr. Cord said many of the best engineers from the handset business had already left the company. The exodus has left Microsoft’s new cellphone unit with many of the lesser well-trained engineers.
While Finland had once been known for its telecom prowess, many of the new generation of developers and engineers also have shunned corporate jobs with Nokia. Instead, they have turned to the country’s growing gaming industries. Companies like Supercell, which makes mobile games like Clash of Clans and is valued at around $3 billion, have gained global acclaim.
“Everyone had been expecting this news,” said Mr. Cord, in reference to Microsoft’s job cuts. “It has hurt the Finnish psyche. When Nokia was on top of the world, so was Finland. Now that Nokia has fallen, so has the country.”
Previously, the largest layoffs at the company were in 2009, when about 5,800 people were affected during the recession. Since then, Microsoft has had a few more rounds of job cuts, but the number of employees eliminated was typically in the dozens or hundreds.
In February, Mr. Nadella became the third chief of Microsoft as Mr. Ballmer stepped down, and Bill Gates, a company founder, left his role as chairman and become a technology adviser to Mr. Nadella. Microsoft was often criticized for being unfocused during Mr. Ballmer’s tenure, and for having a swelling product line and layers of bureaucracy.
“Under the Ballmer era there were many layers of management and a plethora of expensive initiatives being funded that has thus hurt the strategic and financial position the company is in, especially in light of digesting the Nokia acquisition,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, who called the cuts necessary.
Microsoft, a longtime leader in the technology industry, has struggled to find the same success in markets like mobile and Internet search that it did with personal computers. The company anticipated the rise of smartphones and tablet computers, but its products failed to capitalize on that foresight, and Apple and Samsung now dominate those markets.
Mr. Nadella signaled in a company memorandum last week that big organizational changes were coming soon. He sought to define his vision for Microsoft as a maker of productivity tools for a technology landscape shaped by cloud and mobile computing.
“We will increase the fluidity of information and ideas by taking actions to flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes,” he wrote in the memo. “Culture change means we will do things differently.”
Those statements were widely seen as foreshadowing some layoffs, and maybe even peeling off some business units. So far, Mr. Nadella has not dropped any major products or businesses.
Still, investors have welcomed his overtures. Shares have steadily risen since February, and added more than 5 percent in the last week as rumors swirled about the layoffs. They rose another 2.9 percent in early trading on Thursday.
To sweep:To clean a path or space with a broom
Agranar: Netejar el sòl d’una cambra, un carrer etc., amb una granera (escombra)
Agranar: Netejar el sòl d’una cambra, un carrer, etc. amb una granera (escombra).
To swing: To clean a path or a space with a broom
USE: fulfilment of a definite endThe Guardian
1. To receive
2. To indicate a change
3. To bring/To buy/To find
4. Added to verbs “to have & to have to”
5. As a part of a phrasal verb
6. As a part of an expression
Shortly, we will go over each category
Giving birth in Sub-Saharan Africa is a risky business.
It kills more mothers and babies than anywhere else in the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Some progress is being made. In Ghana, for example, the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) declined by 49% between 1990 and 2013 to 380 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013 – but this still leaves some way to go to reach theUnited Nations Millennium Development Goal of 185.
On the veranda of the small, squat bungalow that is the Ahentia Community Based Planning and Service (CHPs) clinic sits a group of women. Some are pregnant, some nursing babies, they are waiting patiently to see the community health officer.
What makes this situation a little different is that each of them has been reminded about their appointment by messages sent to a mobile phone, through a system called Mobile Midwife.
They also receive regular messages with individually-tailored information on everything from eating properly to when to give up manual labour to important treatment and vaccination advice.
Cynthia Larbie is pregnant with her second child.
“When I was pregnant for the first time I would have enemas, which are supposed to be good for you and the baby. But listening to messages from Mobile Midwife, I learnt they can cause your baby to be aborted,” she says.
“The reminders really help, too. Because I wasn’t sure when my first baby would arrive, I gave birth at home, but this time being told that I’m close to delivery means that I’m prepared and ready to give birth at the clinic.”
Getting women in rural areas to attend antenatal appointments regularly isn’t easy, says community health officer Alice Grant-Yamoah.
“Most of the mothers are illiterate, so when we wrote the date [down], they forgot about it,” she says.
“[Mobile midwife] saves mothers’ lives. Because in this community we believe … superstitions. For example you go and meet a mother at home, telling [her] to come for antenatal care.
“[They say] If I come the evil eye will look at me and I will lose my baby. That’s what I did with my previous babies and I lost the babies.”
Mobile midwife is part of the Ghana mobile technology for community health (Motech Ghana) initiative – a collaboration between the non-profit organisation Grameen Foundation and the Ghana Health Service.
In a country where there are more active mobile phone lines than people (although using several Sim cards is common, so this doesn’t mean that everyone has a mobile phone), using the technology to reach women and connect healthcare facilities makes sense.
When a woman signs up for the service, she is assigned a unique number.
After each appointment, the nurse updates her medical records electronically using a mobile phone. By reviewing a digitally-generated monthly report, she can see who has had the correct vaccinations, for example. It also means that the health service can gather centralised data on maternal health in the region.
The platform is now used in seven districts across Ghana. A desk-top nurse application has been developed to make it easier to enter large amounts of data, as well as an app for android smartphones.
“We’ve also seen an increase in immunisation coverage, because the messages are around from pregnancy to the start of life. We’ve seen an increase in the number of mothers coming to the facility to deliver. And also we’ve seen that many more of the mothers are very knowledgeable about health issues,” says Patricia Antwi, district director of health services for Awutu-Senya district.
Challenges remain, however – in rural areas network coverage can be patchy, and communities are often off the national grid, with no way to charge a mobile. And mobile phone ownership is lowest amongst poor, rural women, according to Eddie Ademozoya, Grameen’s head of implementation for the Motech Platform.
“Mobile literacy has [also] been an issue in a developing country like this,” he says.
“We have piloted a system of equipping Mobile Midwife agents with a solar charging device so that they can charge the mobile phones of women in the communities for a fee. It’s designed in the form of a business-in-a-box.”
For the Grameen Foundation, the time has come to hand over the running of the platform in Ghana to the Ghana Health Service. But that doesn’t mean that their involvement is over.
“We’ve re-engineered [the Motech platform] to make it more robust, to make it scale, so it can serve the whole nation instead of just districts,” says Grameen’s director of technology innovation David Hutchful.
The suite is now being offered as an open source download, and is being used elsewhere in Africa, Asia and South America not only for maternal health but as an HIV medication reminder service and for general health management among other things.
Make a claim
USE: emphasis, enlargement
Unwilling to give or spend
Que va amb compte excessiu amb les despeses, mancat de tota liberalitat
Unwilling to give or spend
Qu va amb compte excessiu amb les despeses, mancat de tota liberalitat
Hehphotographs of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., above the cash registers, and filled the nooks and crannies with scholarly books. He threw open his doors to local authors, provided a home for the Queer Book Club and created a weekly story time program for kids (in English, Spanish and Mandarin.)
Talk to independent bookseller Chris Doeblin, the owner of the Book Culture bookstores, and it is obvious that in many ways he embodies the ethos of Morningside Heights, near Columbia University, where he lives and works.
“I’m an extremely progressive liberal and the best kind,” said Mr. Doeblin, 53. “I’ve been able to keep a community bookstore alive in this neighborhood and I don’t let ideology get in my way.”
And for that, customers in this liberal stronghold have unabashedly (until quite recently) sung his praises. To many, he is a lanky warrior for the written word, celebrated for creating and sustaining an intellectual haven in the neighborhood for nearly two decades.
At least that’s how things stood until last month, when his workers voted to unionize. On June 24, just hours after the vote, Mr. Doeblin announced in an email to staff that he had fired two employees for joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. By June 26, he had fired three more.
Mr. Doeblin said four of the dismissed employees were managers who were ineligible to take part in the vote and who had “undermined” his business by bringing in the union. (The employees countered that they were supervisors in name only.) He fired the fifth worker after accusing her of eavesdropping.
And lest there be any doubt about Mr. Doeblin’s sentiments about organized labor, he made them clear in his June 24 email, describing his store as “always being in opposition to the union.”
So what happens when a bookseller and those he serves, after years of political harmony, fall suddenly and dramatically out of sync?
Well, then you’ve got a fight on your hands.
On July 2, most of Mr. Doeblin’s remaining employees went on strike, picketing his two stores with the help of the union and its giant inflatable rats, and urging neighborhood residents to join in a boycott. The news spread on Twitter, in the local media and on community email lists. Sales plunged.
Some faculty members at Columbia who buy course books at the store on West 112th Street, which specializes in academic texts, considered taking their business elsewhere.
“I was, frankly, appalled,” said Rosalind Morris, an anthropology professor at Columbia who lives in the neighborhood and co-founded a faculty email list that was abuzz over the labor dispute. “It seemed like a significant misreading of the constituency that he serves and needs.”
You can envision the hardening battle lines, right? The union and the owner digging in their heels, the young, unemployed workers thrust into an unsettled job market, customers boycotting their beloved bookstores and demanding new leadership.
None of that happened.
Instead, Mr. Doeblin picked up the phone and called the union to try to make a deal.
It wasn’t that he regretted firing his workers. He didn’t. It wasn’t that his feelings about unions had changed. They hadn’t. “They may have given us the weekend,” he said, “but they also gave us the mob.”
He still chafes at his pro-union critics and emphasizes that others have offered sympathy and support. “My ideology is to make payroll, to make the rent, to make another mortgage payment,” Mr. Doeblin said.
But something happened as Mr. Doeblin watched his staff protest, as he was peppered with questions while walking to work and as he fielded hundreds of emails and phone calls at his stores.
He started to wonder where he had gone wrong.
“I think I’m probably not a very good manager,” said Mr. Doeblin, reflecting on a style that one employee described as brusque and intimidating. “I think I have a lot to improve on. I need the support of the staff and the support of our community to survive.”
By the afternoon of July 3, Mr. Doeblin had agreed to rehire the four fired supervisors, provided that they agreed to give up their titles and return to hourly status for now. He gave a severance package to the fifth person he had let go and has agreed to recognize the union. (Workers said they wanted a union to represent them in negotiations over wages, raises and promotions, to clarify job titles and to establish a grievance process.)
In return, the union agreed to drop the complaint it had filed against him with the National Labor Relations Board and to end the strike and the calls for a boycott. “We’re glad we’ve gotten over this crisis,” said Phil Andrews, director of the union’s retail organizing project.
Last week, the reinstated employees returned to work and customers went back to buying books. Mr. Doeblin and his community are once again in accord, even though everyone now knows they’re not exactly on the same page.
Give away, put away and throw away
1. She got up and walked away Movement from a given place
2. She works away for hours at home Continous action (for an indefinite time)
3. He washed the dirt away removal (towards absence)
USE: basic+metaphoricalThe Guardian
To go in, to lay out, to pick up and to hand in :
To go in:
Text: ” Now we must GO IN together”
To lay out:
Meaning: arrange parts in relation to each other and to the whole in a convenient manner
Text: “…the copybooks are LAID OUT side by side”
USE: fulfilment of a definite end
To pick up:
meaning: take hold of and raise
Text “…like stones one PICKS UP by the seashore
To hand in:
Text” … the others are HANDING IN their answers”
USE: basic, opposition IN-OUT