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Microsoft announces it will cut 18,000 jobs

The massive layoffs will mostly hit Nokia.


Taylor Hatmaker


Posted on Jul 17, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 10:47 pm CDT

Following rumors from early this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed massive layoffs at the corporation in a memo now published externally. Nadella, a member of the Microsoft team since 1992, succeeded Steve Ballmer as the company’s chief executive in February of this year. In the letter to the company, Nadella follows up on the sprawling mission statement that he sent out to employees last week.

Microsoft plans to slash its workforce by 18,000 jobs in the coming year, with 12,500 of those accounted for by new Nokia division, which will take the hardest hit. Microsoft closed the deal on Nokia’s devices and services business earlier this year for more than $7 billion.

From Nadella’s letter:

My promise to you is that we will go through this process in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible. We will offer severance to all employees impacted by these changes, as well as job transition help in many locations, and everyone can expect to be treated with the respect they deserve for their contributions to this company.

Before the official statement was issued, rumors the layoffs were coming were posted to Whisper last night.

.@Microsoft announced this morning plans to cut 18,000 jobs, but @WhisperApp users knew last night this was coming:

— Neetzan Zimmerman (@neetzan) July 17, 2014

Given its massive acquisition of Nokia, corporate redundancies aren’t altogether surprising. Still, the massive scope of the layoffs makes it the largest in Microsoft’s history. The company is expected to restrategize around mobile and cloud products moving forward.

Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Jul 17, 2014, 2:14 pm CDT