Microsoft lays off 2,100, axes Silicon Valley research

A employee stands in the Microsoft booth during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in Taipei June 3, 2014. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp MSFT.O will close its Silicon Valley research-and-development operation as part of 2,100 layoffs announced on Thursday, as it moves toward its new CEO's goal of cutting 18,000 staff, or about 14 percent of its workforce.

News of the closure of the Microsoft Research lab at the company’s campus in Mountain View, California, was first made public on Twitter by employees. The company later confirmed the move and said it would involve the loss of 50 jobs.

A spokesman said Microsoft Research, which has over 1,000 scientists and engineers worldwide working on new product ideas, will consolidate its U.S. work at Microsoft’s main campus in Redmond, Washington, and in offices in New York and Boston.

After the cuts, Microsoft said it will still have 2,500 employees at its Mountain View campus, not far from rival Google Inc. GOOGL.O

Microsoft is cutting 160 jobs in California on Thursday, and another 747 in the Seattle area, a spokesman said, as part of a total of 2,100 layoffs around the world.

This is the second wave of cuts after it laid off 13,000 in July, which marked the start of Chief Executive Satya Nadella’s plan to lay off 18,000 people overall. That means 2,900 more layoffs coming over the next nine months or so.

Thursday’s cuts were spread over different countries and teams, the spokesman said. The last wave of cuts mostly affected the handset business of Nokia, which Microsoft bought earlier this year.

Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and David Gregorio