SEATTLE, July 17 Microsoft Corp is set
to cut more than 6,000 jobs in an announcement expected early
Thursday, according to sources familiar with the matter, as it
trims its newly acquired Nokia phone business and reshapes
itself as a cloud-computing and mobile-friendly software
What could be the deepest job cuts in the company's 39-year
history come five months into the tenure of Chief Executive
Officer Satya Nadella, who outlined plans for a "leaner"
business in a public memo to employees last week.
Many of the cuts are expected to come from the Nokia unit,
which Microsoft acquired in April for $7.2 billion, pushing up
Microsoft's headcount by a quarter to 127,000. Microsoft said
when it struck the deal to buy the Finnish phone maker that it
would cut $600 million per year in costs within 18 months of
closing the acquisition.
Microsoft is also expected to trim staffing at its Xbox game
and entertainment unit, which Nadella last week praised but
stopped short of describing as a "core" business.
Nadella's cuts are set to be the biggest at the Redmond,
Washington-based company since his predecessor Steve Ballmer
axed 5,800, or about 6 percent of headcount at that time, in the
depths of recession in early 2009.
The new CEO's move is designed to help Microsoft shift from
being a primarily software-focused company to one that sells
online services, apps and devices that it hopes will make people
and businesses more productive. Nadella needs to make Microsoft
a stronger competitor to Google Inc and Apple Inc
, which have dominated the new era of mobile-centric
Marking this change of emphasis, Nadella last week rebranded
Microsoft as "the productivity and platform company for the
mobile-first and cloud-first world."
Microsoft is not alone among the pioneers of the personal
computer revolution that are now slimming down as they adapt to
the Web-focused world.
PC-maker Hewlett-Packard Co is in the midst of a
radical three-to-five-year plan that will lop up to 50,000 of
its 250,000 staff.
International Business Machines is undergoing a
"workforce rebalancing," which analysts say could mean 13,000,
or about 3 percent of its staff, being laid off or transferred
to new owners as units are sold.
Chip maker Intel Corp and network equipment maker
Cisco Systems Inc both said in the past year they are
cutting around 5 percent of their staff.
(Reporting by Ron Grover in Los Angeles and Bill Rigby in
Seattle; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)