Microsoft Corp is planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years, as the software maker looks to slim down and integrate Nokia Oyj’s handset unit, people with knowledge of the company’s plans said. Chief executive officer Satya Nadella said in an interview last week he was preparing to make sweeping changes at Microsoft. The reductions will probably be in engineering, marketing and areas of overlap with Nokia, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.
The restructuring—which may be unveiled as soon as this week—may end up being the biggest in Microsoft history, topping the 5,800 jobs cut in 2009, two of the people said. Some details are still being worked out, two of the people said.
Nadella, who took over from Steve Ballmer in February, said in the interview that Microsoft would have to become more focused and efficient. The CEO issued his first company mission statement last week, calling for greater emphasis on mobile devices, cloud-computing and productivity software as consumers and businesses buy fewer personal computers to check e-mail, browse the Web and access data and software.
“Nothing is off the table in how we think about shifting our culture,” Nadella said in the interview. Nadella, a Microsoft veteran who joined in 1992, was promoted to speed up a turnaround at the software maker after Ballmer failed to deliver hit products that could take on smartphones and tablets from Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Company and other technology rivals. Microsoft shares were little changed at to US$42.09 at 12:19 pm in New York. The stock had climbed 13 per cent so far this year through Monday.
The company had 127,104 employees as of June 5, after adding about 30,000 in its acquisition of Nokia’s handset unit.