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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

September 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Microsoft lays off 2,100 employees, 747 of them in local area

Microsoft is notifying approximately 2,100 employees Thursday that they’re being laid off in the second round of layoffs since the company announced in July that it would be cutting 18,000 jobs.

Of the layoff notices going out Thursday, 747 are in the Puget Sound area.

The cuts are spread across multiple business units and countries, a Microsoft spokeswoman said.

The 747 local jobs being eliminated starting Thursday are in addition to the 1,351 Puget Sounda-area jobs the company already cut in July, bringing the total number of Puget Sound-area jobs that Microsoft has cut so far to 2,098. That’s nearly 5 percent of the 43,351 workforce the company had in the Puget Sound region at the end of its last fiscal year on June 30.

The separation date for those losing their jobs locally begins Nov. 17, according to the state Employment Security Department.

[Update 11:58 a.m.: Microsoft is closing its Silicon Valley research lab, and laying off the employees there as part of a total 160 positions in California that the company is eliminating.

Microsoft Research Silicon Valley, located in Mountain View, has more than 75 researchers focusing on distributed computing, researching areas including privacy and security.

Microsoft Research is closing that lab as it consolidates its work. About 50 researchers are affected by the cut. A small number of them will remain to continue their work or are being offered positions in the company’s other labs.

Microsoft Research has about 1,100 advanced researchers working in a dozen labs worldwide.

The company employs about 2,500 employees overall  in the Silicon Valley/Bay Area region.]

[Update 3:13 p.m.: Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing group, which works on cybersecurity and privacy issues, is being broken up.

Trustworthy Computing employees who work on the technical side will fall under the purview of  Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of cloud and enterprise.

Those who worked on policy issues will join those reporting to Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs.

Some positions in Trustworthy Computing are also being eliminated, although Microsoft declined to say the number affected.]

The jobs being cut Thursday are part of the 18,000 jobs — representing 14 percent of its worldwide workforce — that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in July that he would be eliminating over the next year.

The cuts are partly related to Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s phone business, which brought in some 25,000 Nokia employees to Microsoft, and partly a reflection of Nadella’s vision of a Microsoft that’s less management heavy and more agile.

Most of the cuts — about 12,500 professional and factory positions — are former Nokia positions, with some Microsoft positions also being eliminated because of job duplication related to the Nokia acquisition. The remaining 5,500 jobs cut across multiple functions, including marketing and engineering.

Of the 18,000 jobs, Microsoft had started in July to eliminate 13,000 of them. Taken together with Thursday’s notifications, about 2,900 more positions remain to be eliminated. Microsoft had said in July that it was committed to notifying the vast majority of those who jobs are to be eliminated by the end of the year.

The company is also cutting contractors.

Last week, MSN cut a number of contractors, according to sources who asked not to be identified.

In July, Microsoft had imposed new restrictions on contractors — a move many saw as aimed at decreasing the tens of thousands of contractors the company uses.

The new rules limit those who work for Microsoft through vendors and temp agencies to 18 months of access to Microsoft buildings and corporate networks, after which they will be required to take a 6-month break from access.

Microsoft on Thursday declined to confirm the contractor cuts at MSN or to comment on contractor cuts in general.

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: layoffs


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