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Microsoft has announced its biggest job cut ever, reducing the size of its overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs by 2015.
Of the total layoffs, about 12,500 Nokia Devices and Services employees would be given pink slips. These employees would comprise of both professional and factory workers.
The India-born CEO Satya Nadella said the cuts are part of the company’s efforts to realign its workforce and move towards being a productivity and platform company.
He said that the company is moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and that the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated, will be notified over the next six months.
The CEO, however, assured that the layoffs will be carried out in a thoughtful and transparent way. He also informed employees that Microsoft will offer severance to all employees impacted by these changes, as well as job transition assistance in a large number of locations.
About his plans, Nadella said the company wants to integrate the Nokia Devices and Services teams into Microsoft. It also intends to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows Phone. This essentially means that Microsoft will soon kill Nokia’s X series of Android powered smartphones.
He also talked about having fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to accelerate the flow of information and decision making and making support teams leaner.
He had already mentioned that he would address detailed organizational and financial issues for the company’s new financial year, when Microsoft reports quarterly earnings on July 22.
After the acquisition of Nokia, Microsoft has 127,000 employees, far more than rivals Apple and Google.
Nadella did not go into detail about specific changes he planned for Microsoft, but suggested that change was mandatory.