Microsoft will be laying off 18,000 employees over the next one year most of whom are those who joined the company from its recent acquisition, Nokia.
The bad news were announced by Executive Vice President Stephen Elop and Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella in separate emails to employees that have sparked mixed reactions. The process of notifying those certain to leave commences today with Microsoft employees in the United States expected to be the first to be notified about their pending exit. Of the 18,000, 12,500 are Microsoft’s employees working in its various factories and as professionals in various fields.
With a workforce of roughly 127,000 employees as per last month, 18,000 heads account for at least 14% of the total company workforce and is quite significant. The last time Microsoft laid off a significant number of employees was back in 2009 when over 5,000 employees had to leave with then CEO Steve Ballmer citing “deterioration of global economic conditions” as the main reason for the job cuts as the company struggled to keep operational costs at a minimum in order to increase profit margins. This time round though it is about restructuring or “right-sizing” as Elop calls it.