Microsoft Layoffs to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs

Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, signaled in a company memo last week that big organizational changes were coming.

SEATTLE — Microsoft said Thursday that it planned to eliminate up to 18,000 jobs over the next year in a shake-up intended to help the company move more quickly in the market.

The cuts are the largest in the company’s 39-year history, representing about 14 percent of its work force.

Microsoft will make the deepest cuts from the businesses it acquired from the Finnish phone maker Nokia. About 12,500 of the jobs being eliminated will come from the Nokia groups, resulting from the closing of a factory in Hungary and other changes.

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Microsoft’s stock activity since Satya Nadella took over as its chief executive in February.

That is about half the number of employees who joined Microsoft from Nokia a few months ago when it completed its acquisition of the company’s mobile business.

In related news, Microsoft said it would no longer make Nokia phones based on the Android operating system, switching its low-end phones to Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.

Microsoft said it would take a charge of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion to cover severance and related costs from the layoffs over the next year.

The company’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, signaled in a company memorandum last week that big organizational changes were coming soon.

Previously, the largest layoffs at the company were in 2009, when about 5,800 people were affected during the recession. Since then, Microsoft has had a few more rounds of job cuts, but the number of employees eliminated was typically in the dozens or hundreds.

In February, Mr. Nadella became the third chief of Microsoft as Steven A. Ballmer stepped down, and Bill Gates, a company founder, left his role as chairman and become a technology adviser to Mr. Nadella.

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Thank goodness most of them are in Hungary–likely mostly white folks. Remember, Microsoft, you need work on getting more Latinos and blacks.

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