"Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis", a Microsoft spokesperson told NBC News.
The move will allow Microsoft's sales team to heavily focus on getting more people to sign up for its Azure cloud services, positioning it to be an even more formidable competitor against Amazon Web Services and Google. Microsoft announced a previous round of almost 3,000 job cuts last July to reflect its changing business focus. Key areas of opportunity, he said, included expanding its cloud offerings in data analysis and artificial intelligence, and helping companies in every industry to become digital businesses, using Microsoft tools. The plan, Microsoft said, is to utilize employees that are more knowledgeable about specific verticals so they can sell larger packages to clients.
The job cuts - which represent around 2.5% of its total workforce of 121,000 employees - come while it's Azure cloud hosting business is seeing massive growth.
Microsoft stock hasn't reacted much to the news, probably due to the fact that the forward-looking market has already reacted to the rumors.
"Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners", Microsoft said in a statement.
Office consumer products and cloud services revenue rose 15 percent, as the number of Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 26.2 million.
The reshuffling comes a year after Courtois and Althoff were promoted to lead Microsoft's global sales and marketing efforts following the exit of former chief operating officer Kevin Turner.