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Massive Microsoft Layoffs Limited In Northwest

OPB | July 17, 2014 11:39 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2014 3:29 p.m. | Portland

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Microsoft Corporation announced massive layoffs Thursday morning: 18,000 jobs will be cut worldwide and the Seattle Times reports that 1,351 will be out of the Puget Sound area.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella released a memo to employees last week explaining the layoffs are a part of the tech company’s integration of former telephone giant Nokia. KPLU in Seattle reports that the deal made last fall increased Microsoft’s employee number from 99,000 to 127,000.

“Our workforce reductions are mainly driven by two outcomes: work simplification as well as Nokia Devices and Services integration synergies and strategic alignment,” Nadella wrote to employees.

Nadella is expected to give more details when Microsoft reports fiscal 2014 results on Tuesday.

Nokia head and Microsoft Executive Vice President Stephen Elop also wrote to employees to say the company is looking toward the future of the Windows phone. Phone engineering will be mostly in Salo and Tampere, Finland. Engineering work in Oulu, Finland, Beijing and San Diego will be reduced and operations in Komaron, Hungary will be completely phased out:

“In short, we will focus on driving Lumia volume in the areas where we are already successful today in order to make the market for Windows Phone. With more speed, we will build on our success in the affordable smartphone space with new products offering more differentiation. We’ll focus on acquiring new customers in the markets where Microsoft’s services and products are most concentrated. And, we’ll continue building momentum around applications.”

The layoffs started last week and are expected to be complete by June 30, 2015.

I reached out to Portland offices here to see what the impact of the layoffs locally, but spokeswoman Mimi Newman wrote in an email that Microsoft isn’t releasing any information on specific teams or offices affected.

This is the largest layoff at Microsoft ever. The Portland Business Journal reports the biggest previous reduction slashed 5,800 jobs in 2009.

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