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Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs in one of the biggest rounds of layoffs in tech history

21 July 2014, 10:54 am EDT By Christian Bautista Tech Times
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Microsoft is cutting 18,000 jobs, the biggest round of layoffs in its 39-year history, as part of a restructuring effort after its acquisition of Nokia's handset division.

The move, which is expected to be completed fully by June 30 next year, will mostly affect employees that Microsoft absorbed during its latest acquisition. 

In a press release, the company said that the job cuts are meant to simplify the organization and alter Nokia's Devices and Services business to fit into the company's strategy. 

"The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce... We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a letter to employees. 

As many analysts have predicted, the biggest casualties of Microsoft's job cuts push are former Nokia employees. Nadella said that out of the 18,000 jobs that are set for the chopping block, 12,500 are expected to come from Nokia's Devices and Services division. It is still not clear which positions will be terminated, however, Nadella said that "both professional and factory workers" will be laid off. 

According to a report from Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, one of the biggest sources of ex-Nokia employee layoffs may be the company's operations in its home base in Finland. Microsoft is said to be planning to lay off more than 1,000 employees in the country. The company is expected to close a Nokia research and development facility in Oulu, a city in the northern part of the country. The closure of the research unit means about 500 former Nokia employees would be laid off. The other 500 job cuts in the country are expected to come from other Finnish Nokia locations.     

The layoffs represent 14 percent of Microsoft's employee head count. The cuts, which come five months after Nadella replaced former CEO Steve Ballmer, is part of the company's efforts to redefine its core business. 

In a long memo sent to employees last week, Nadella hinted at the layoffs, one the biggest in the history of the tech industry, saying that he wants to flatten the organization and make its business processes leaner.

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