In what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says is “the first step to building the right organization for our ambitions”, the company will lay off roughly 18,000 workers in the next year. The move will see the bulk of that come from Nokia, where Microsoft will end competing efforts on the Android platform.
Nadella’s statement to the staff reads as a company bloated by excess. Promising the job cuts will make Microsoft “more agile and move faster”, Nadella also promises the company will make the transition as smooth as possible:
The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce. With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers. We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months. It’s important to note that while we are eliminating roles in some areas, we are adding roles in certain other strategic areas. My promise to you is that we will go through this process in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible. We will offer severance to all employees impacted by these changes, as well as job transition help in many locations, and everyone can expect to be treated with the respect they deserve for their contributions to this company.
He also says Microsoft will work to incorporate Nokia services into the fold, saying “our workforce reductions are mainly driven by two outcomes: work simplification as well as Nokia Devices and Services integration synergies and strategic alignment.” Various Nokia employees will be refocused on Lumia projects, too, signaling the end of any Nokia-Android platform.
This all suggests Nadella doesn’t look favorably on the Nokia deal, and is left with a bloated, out-of-touch Microsoft dropped off by Steve Ballmer. Nadella says things will become more clear on July 22 when Microsoft has their earnings call. We’re now left to wonder what the second step toward building Microsoft anew will be.