As expected, the axe fell today at Microsoft, but the depth of the cut is surprisingly brutal: 18,000 Microsoft employees will find themselves without jobs over the next year, and the company is "moving now" to eliminate the first 13,000 positions. The job cuts are by far Microsoft's largest ever.
Most of the positions affected hail from Nokia's Devices and Services division. Microsoft recently acquired the division and approximately 32,000 Nokia employees for a whopping $7 billion; 12,500 of those people, or nearly a third of the entire team, will be handed pink slips as Microsoft works towards what it calls "synergies and strategic alignment."
[ Find out what topics and issues affect tech's biggest names and news makers in the IDGE Insider CEO interview series. | Read Bill Snyder's Tech's Bottom Line blog for what the key business trends mean to you. ]
The layoffs were expected. Nokia and Microsoft's existing Windows Phone division no doubt have an abundance of overlapping roles, and Microsoft pledged to cut $600 million in costs within six months of purchasing Nokia's hardware business. And just last week, CEO Satya Nadella released a massive manifesto for the new fiscal year which, beyond refocusing Microsoft as a productivity company rather than a devices and services company, pledged to shake up the status quo at the entrenched tech giant.
"Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture to deliver on this core strategy. Organizations will change. Mergers and acquisitions will occur. Job responsibilities will evolve. New partnerships will be formed. Tired traditions will be questioned. Our priorities will be adjusted. New skills will be built. New ideas will be heard. New hires will be made. Processes will be simplified. And if you want to thrive at Microsoft and make a world impact, you and your team must add numerous more changes to this list that you will be enthusiastic about driving."
This story, "Microsoft lays off 18,000, including a third of Nokia, in largest-ever job cuts" was originally published by PCWorld.