Duane Forrester losing his job in the latest Microsoft layoffs has shocked and saddened the SEO and webmaster community.

But, it seems the long-time Bing Webmaster Outreach Manager and his team aren’t the only ones who were eliminated last week. Microsoft has also laid off most of its advertising sales force worldwide after declaring it redundant, according to unnamed sources cited by Business Insider.

The affected employees were said to be primarily responsible for selling ad space across Microsoft’s network of properties, including Xbox, MSN, Bing, Outlook, Windows 8 and Skype. This news has led to speculations that the tech company might be pulling out of the advertising game.

Media outlets claim this makes sense, considering that Microsoft has been stepping back from advertising for some time now. The announcement coincides with news of Microsoft shutting down its global agencies and accounts team as well as eliminating Yarn, a creative team that updated advertisers with Microsoft’s new platforms. Not to mention, it sold Atlas ad network to Facebook last year.

However, the fact that its executive advertising team remains intact could mean Microsoft is simply in the process of streamlining its approach, with the intention to use its best staff to home in on major brands.

It could be that the company is planning to focus more on the quality, rather than the quantity, of its advertising partners, Business Insider suggested.

The six-months proposed Microsoft layoffs, which continues as of today, is part of the planned 18,000 job cuts by CEO Satya Nadella – the largest record in the company’s history. The realignment program is Nadella’s strategic plan to improve the efficiency of the company’s decision-making process as well as to align its structure to new growth plans, which focuses on areas like mobile, wearable tech, cloud computing and productivity apps.