Microsoft to shed 18,000 jobs, discontinuing Nokia’s Android phones

Microsoft Corp. will be axing the jobs of 18,000 of its employees – 15 per cent of its global workforce and also possibly the highest number in the company’s history.

While Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hinted at the layoffs in a memo released last week, today he sent yet another memo announcing the bulk and scale of these layoffs, as well as the timeframe. The company is now beginning to shed 13,000 jobs, most of them within the next six months, he said.

Most of these job losses would be within Nokia, a recent acquisition. About 12,500 jobs will be cut there, which is about half of the number of employees who joined Microsoft when it bought their company.

Before this announcement, Microsoft’s biggest round of layoffs came in 2009, when the company let go 5,800 people during the recession. The latest round of job cuts is “the first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce,” said Nadella in a long, company-wide memo.

“First, we will simplify the way we work to drive greater accountability, become more agile and move faster. As part of modernizing our engineering processes the expectations we have from each of our disciplines will change. In addition, we plan to have fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to accelerate the flow of information and decision-making,” he wrote.

“This includes flattening organizations and increasing the span of control of people managers. In addition, our business processes and support models will be more lean and efficient with greater trust between teams. The overall result of these changes will be more productive, impactful teams across Microsoft.”

In the memo, Nadella also dropped another piece of news – the company will also stop making Android phones using Nokia. Nokia began building them soon after Microsoft acquired it, which seemed at odds with Microsoft’s own line of Windows phones.

“We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows. This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps,” the memo said.

For more, as well as for Nadella’s full memo, click the ‘Original Article Source’ link. Also, read IT World Canada’s take on this story here.

Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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