Jan 19, 2023 - Business

Microsoft cuts nearly 900 Seattle-area workers

Microsoft sign at Redmond, Washington, headquarters

Photo: David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Close to 900 Seattle-area employees of Microsoft will be laid off in March, according to a notice posted Wednesday by the Washington state Employment Security Department.

Driving the news: Among the 10,000 company-wide layoffs announced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Wednesday, 878 will affect workers based in Redmond, Bellevue and Issaquah, according to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification.

  • The layoffs, listed as permanent, will go into effect on March 20.
  • As of 2022, Microsoft reported it had 221,000 employees with 122,000 of them working in the U.S.
  • It was not immediately clear how many workers are employed at Microsoft's Seattle-area campuses. The Seattle Times reported the number was close to 50,000; the Puget Sound Business Journal Guide reported 61,000 Microsoft employees statewide, while the state Employment Security Department’s Labor Market division lists the number of Microsoft employees in Washington at a little over 40,000.
  • Microsoft did not respond Wednesday to a request for information.

The big picture: The Redmond-based software and cloud firm joins a growing list of tech giants that have recently cut staff, including Amazon, Meta, Salesforce, Twitter and Snap. This will be the third round of layoffs at Microsoft within the last year.

Details: The current cuts, affecting less than 5% of the company's total workforce, are necessary to get costs in line with revenue and customer demand, Nadella announced in a blog post.

  • Some employees are being notified of the layoffs this week.
  • Bloomberg reported that the company plans to eliminate positions in a number of engineering divisions. Fortune, meanwhile, reported cuts to the firm's video-game divisions.
  • Nadella said the company plans to continue hiring people in strategic areas, such as artificial intelligence.

What they're saying: "These are the kinds of hard choices we have made throughout our 47-year history to remain a consequential company in this industry that is unforgiving to anyone who doesn’t adapt to platform shifts," Nadella said.


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