Report: Microsoft Planning Thousands Of Job Cuts In Major Reorganization


Microsoft is planning to shed thousands of jobs in what could be the largest round of layoffs in its history, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing anonymous people familiar with the company's plans.

Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., will likely cut jobs from its marketing and engineering teams, as well as from its Nokia handset unit, which it acquired for $7.2 billion in a deal that closed in April, Bloomberg reported.

Microsoft added some 25,000 employees in its Nokia acquisition and now has more than 127,000 employees around the world.

In 2009, Microsoft eliminated some 5,800 jobs in research and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal, human resources and IT operations, as part of a $1.5 billion cost-cutting move.

Related: Microsoft CEO Nadella Ditches Ballmer's Devices And Services Vision, Hints At Major Organizational Shake-Up

At the time, former CEO Steve Ballmer told Wall Street analysts that the technology industry faces a "once-in-a-lifetime set of economic conditions" and said the economy was in the process of "resetting to a lower level of business."

This remains the only major layoff in the company's 39-year history, but according to Bloomberg, Microsoft may cut even more jobs this time around.

Microsoft's planned layoffs are taking place against the backdrop of a booming economy. Microsoft shares are up 13 percent this year, and judging from attendance at this year's Worldwide Partner Conference, its channel is healthy and enthusiastic about the company's prospects.

Nadella was said to be opposed to acquiring Nokia when the deal was first struck last year. At Re/Code's inaugural Code Conference in May, he declined to answer a question about whether he was in favor of acquiring Nokia, saying only that "We are a software company at the end of the day."

In an email to employees last week, Nadella said he's not going to keep following Ballmer's "devices and services" strategy, and instead wants Microsoft to focus on platforms and productivity.

"While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy," Nadella said in the email.

PUBLISHED JULY 15, 2014