Microsoft Undergoes Restructuring, Top Bing Positions Eliminated

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Duane Forrester broke the news on his personal blog this morning that Microsoft is in the midst of restructuring several divisions within the company, which has directly affected the Bing division.

Several Bing employees, including Forrester who had been with the company for 7 years, were laid off as a result of their positions being eliminated.

Microsoft announced changes within the structures of several groups in the company. My group was affected, and while I have natural concerns for my own future, I am now faced with saying goodbye to some talented friends and coworkers. It has been a pleasure to work beside, and learn from, these people. They are smart, dedicated and creative…not to mention a barrel of laughs!

There has been an outpouring of support for Forrester, a long time friend of the SEO community, but also questions as to what this says about Microsoft, and if it will dampen the relationship between Microsoft and webmasters/SEOs.

As for Forrester, he is not bitter but grateful for what he accomplished during his time with Microsoft:

I have learned, made new friends, traveled, helped build successful products and in some small way, I think, helped make a difference, a positive difference, for businesses, consultants and SEOs worldwide. Tough to be bitter with anyone who enabled THAT in your life.

It’s still important to discuss the elephant in the room though, which is the fact that Microsoft laid off its top and most well known SEO. Not to mention it sounds like several others within his division were laid off as well. What do you think this means about Microsoft’s commitment to search going forward? What does the future of Bing look like?

Here are some of the thoughts going around so far:

What do you think about this move by Microsoft? Let us know in the comments section.

Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Lead News Writer
Matt Southern is the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides.
Matt Southern
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  • Garth O’Brien

    Is anyone shocked with moves Microsoft makes? What is more bewildering is they did not move Duane to another role. Some company will end up with an outstanding SEO but not Microsoft.

  • Vijay

    Really nice Write up Matt. Duane is a terrific guy and a great teacher/advocate of Search.
    Hate it when/ how big brands do this after years of dedicated service.

    Love the tweet you embeded.



  • Vincent Granville

    I’ve tried hard to advertise on Bing. Always been declined, unable to complete the sign-up process. No matter what email address or browser (even IE) I use. Microsoft must have my IP address in some sort of black list, or their sign-up process is full of bugs. Either way, no wonder they have a hard time becoming profitable. And it’s not like I live in North Korea or Iraq. I live 10 miles away from their headquarters and the nice, brand new skyscraper they built in Bellevue, WA, where many Bing folks are working.

  • Deepak Kumar Das

    This is a sad news. He is a veteran on search and helped in explaining Bing products, mostly Bing webmaster tools.

  • Milosz P

    By “restructuring” do they mean making Bing even more irrelevant?

  • Kevin Holdridge

    Surely no coincidence that Matt Cutts has just announced an extension of his ‘leave’ from Google?? Something cookin there? Conspiracy theorists of the world unite.