Microsoft To Cut Workforce By 18,000 This Year, ‘Moving Now’ To Cut First 13,000

Microsoft has announced major layoffs today as predicted, following a company email published by CEO Satya Nadella last week that signalled changes on the way. In a note published by the company from Nadella today, the CEO outlines how the changes will happen, with a total of 18,000 employees getting the axe over the course of the next year, with 12,500 of those coming out of the streamlining of Microsoft’s acquired Nokia assets.

Nadella says that 13,000 positions are already being actively downsized in the first wave, with a “vast majority” of those to be affected receiving notice over the next six months. More information will come from senior leaders to their teams later today, Nadella says in the note.

Nokia looks poised to take the big hit in this round of layoffs – Microsoft brought on around 25,000 of the Finnish company’s employees when it acquired the company’s devices and services division. “[W]ork toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for 12,500 jobs,” says Nadella in the note, which could indicate that as many as half of the Nokia people are on their way out, though it’s likely that some existing Microsoft positions will be reduced to make room for incoming Nokia talent, too.

By comparison, Google laid off around 6,000 employees from Motorola as it worked to incorporate that company’s hardware team with its own organization before selling the unit to Lenovo late last year.

The cuts will include “fewer layers of management” and a flatter organization, according to Nadella’s note today, and they will also include rolling Nokia’s device’s teams into MS, which includes axing the current Nokia X Android-based designs in favor of building low-cost Lumia hardware running Windows Phone.

Employees affected will receive severance, as well as assistance with transitioning to new jobs in many locations. Nadella will also be hosting an internal Q&A tomorrow, which will definitely be an event to watch for those concerned with the big changes coming at Microsoft.