Microsoft Celebrates 40th Birthday By Finalizing Layoff Of 18,000 Employees

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Microsoft Celebrates 40th Birthday By Finalizing Layoff Of 18,000 Employees
efes / Pixabay

Microsoft was launched in the first week of April in 1975. Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s initial business line was to sell BASIC interpreters, but soon morphed into software giant, selling operating systems to the booming PC industry. Now four decades later Microsoft is one of the largest technology companies in the world, still a dominant forced in the software sector, but also a major player in other sectors such as hardware, video gaming and cloud services.

However, not all is hanky dory at Microsoft as the company celebrates its 40th birthday, as the company is just finishing up with an 18,000 reduction in force announced last July. The firm announced on Saturday that it had just informed the last 500 employees involved in the RIF that they would be laid off.

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Microsoft statement over the weekend

“We expect this to be the last of the anticipated broad cuts as part of the restructuring plan announced last July,” the company spokesman noted in a statement over the weekend.

More on Microsoft layoffs

The company announced last summer that it planned to eliminate 18,000 positions, around 14% of its total workforce. CEO Satya Nadella highlighted that the plan was to streamline the company and integrate its new phone hardware business. Earlier layoffs were announced in July, September and October, and Microsoft had said the RIF would be complete by the end of June.

Those involved in the latest round of layoffs were told last Thursday. The layoffs were mainly in the information-technology (IT) group, the company spokesman noted, but some positions were also eliminated at other divisions within the company. The Seattle Times notes that employees at the main Redmond campus were laid off, but some employees at other locations were also terminated.

Around 12,500 of the layoffs came from Nokia units that Microsoft acquired in the spring of 2014 when it purchased the firm’s handset business. Microsoft closed two of Nokia’s Chinese plants last month, and has now closed half the phone manufacturing plants involved in the deal.

There were also some layoffs at Microsoft’s research unit, the Trustworthy Computing cybersecurity group, Xbox and MSN, including a variety of both engineering and marketing roles.

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