Microsoft is reportedly close to announcing a major round of job cuts in what may turn out to be the biggest cull in its history.
The computer giant could reveal details of the job losses this week, people with knowledge of the plans told Bloomberg.
The last time Microsoft laid off workers in any great number was in 2009 when 5,800 were shown the door. However, it’s thought that the company could be planning to reduce its workforce by an by an even great number this time around.
The expected restructuring comes as the company moves ahead with the full integration of Nokia, the Finnish mobile company acquired by Microsoft for $7.2 billion in September last year.
While some positions may be lost within Nokia and related areas, Bloomberg’s unnamed sources also suggested that marketing and engineering departments will also be hit.
According to official data, Microsoft had 127,104 employees as of last month, with this figure including 30,000 or so Nokia workers.
Microsoft’s rumored plans to slash its workforce would come five months after Satya Nadella was installed as CEO, taking over from Steve Ballmer.
In a lengthy email sent to his employees last week, Nadella appeared to suggest job cuts might be on the way, saying, “We will increase the fluidity of information and ideas by taking actions to flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes.”
The email also talked about how he wanted to focus more on mobile products, the cloud, and productivity software, indicating where the new CEO plans to target resources and investment.
As noted by Bloomberg, Microsoft layoffs in the last four years have always been in the hundreds, not thousands. In 2012, for example, several hundred employees in advertising sales and marketing had their contracts terminated.