As Microsoft reportedly prepares to announce that around 700 employees will be laid off in the latest batch of job cuts, fan-favourite presenter Bryan Roper has confirmed that he is among those leaving the Redmond giant as part of an ongoing company-wide staff reduction.
Roper, who rose to fame thanks to his endearingly charismatic product demonstrations at Microsoft's Surface keynotes, revealed the news on Twitter, writing: "As one of the Microsoft folks impacted by layoffs today, my heart, ears, and network go out to anyone else impacted #staystrong #newhorizons."
Affectionately dubbed "Fedora Guy" by tech fans, Roper assumed the role of Windows spokesperson in January 2016, after previously spending almost two years designing "face-melting, high energy product demos" as executive demo lead for the product management team at Microsoft's Washington HQ (via LinkedIn).
The next round of layoffs will be confirmed when Microsoft announces its quarterly earnings on 26 January. The cut reportedly forms part of scheme to axe 2,850 roles from its estimated 100,000 plus global workforce before the end of Microsoft's fiscal year in June.
According to a Business Insider source, despite the relatively small scale of the job reduction, "nerves have been running high inside" as a result of the uncertainty. It also notes that the cuts stretch across the company's global workforce and are not specific to a single team.
While the reported total pales in comparison to those registered as a result of Microsoft's failed smartphone experiment with Nokia, Roper's absence from future product reveals adds a recognisable face to the staff reductions that have surrounding Microsoft since 2014 – when roughly 18,000 employees were laid off.
For those looking to relive Roper's exuberant performances, his 2015 showcase of Windows Continuum and the power tool-starring Windows 10 Anniversary Update demo from WPC 2016 are definitely worth a watch on YouTube.