Microsoft Layoffs Greater Than Expected: Up to 18,000 Jobs Being Cut

The company's widest layoffs ever focus on Nokia, but will also affect Xbox.

Update: It may not be the only effect on he Xbox business, but we now know these layoffs will result in the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios, the company's branch focused on developing original video programming. However, the in-development Halo projects, Halo: Nightfall and the Halo TV series, will go on as planned.

Original Story: It was reported earlier this week that massive layoffs at Microsoft would soon be announced, and it turns out they are even bigger than expected. The company announced today it will cut "up to 18,000 jobs in the next year," the vast majority of which come as a result of last year's acquisition of the Nokia mobile phone business.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photo credit: CNET

In a memo entitled "Starting to Evolve Our Organization and Culture," CEO Satya Nadella announced the effects of the company's new vision that was outlined last week. About 12,500 of the layoffs will come from the Nokia Devices and Services unit, and includes both professional and factory workers. Microsoft is "moving now" to lay off about 13,000 employees, who will receive the news sometime in the next six months.

When word of layoffs were reported earlier this week, it was said that marketing positions in the Xbox division would be affected. Nadella's memo makes no mention of Xbox, although--amidst continued speculation that the division could be sold off--he did offer a showing of support for the platform when outlining his vision for the company last week. ZDNet reports the Xbox division is indeed affected, but offered no additional details. We've contacted Microsoft for comment and will report back with anything we learn.

Nadella notes that the company will be adding jobs "in certain other strategic areas," and that affected employees will be given severance and job transition help. "[E]veryone can expect to be treated with the respect they deserve for their contributions to this company," he wrote.

The 18,000 total cuts represent the largest in company history. Microsoft employed 127,104 people as of June 5, making this about a 14 percent reduction.

More details on the layoffs should be made available in the coming days as employees are briefed and Nadella holds his monthly Q&A event tomorrow. Investors responded to the news positively at first, as the company's stock price opened today at $45.45 per share, up from $44.08 at close yesterday. It has since fallen, and currently sits at $44.43 as of this writing.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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MrBlondeX

Chris Pereira

Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX
399 comments
orbit991
orbit991

Looks like all that arrogant crap they tried to pull at launch, including trying to destroy the game resale market has really bit them in the rear. Their whole vision of the "TV/entertainment console" is an overall failure considering how watered down and underpowered that system is. They deserve to fail and it's damn sad a few arrogant suits took down a lot of people down with them.

Halloll
Halloll

18 THOUSAND, that's a small nation population, who have the heart to do that.

lostn
lostn

But i want my TV box.

rlakhani11
rlakhani11

I believe those laid-off Xbox employees should fancy a decision "reversal" any time soon ;)....

demrocks
demrocks

Microsoft burning.......oh the pleasure of seeing all those bad mistakes backfire nomnomnom.

But the realy sad thing is that its 18000 people losing their job and the big fat wales repsonsible will continue to eat up big phat paychecks and keep their jobs.


And that Xbox........damn......must be rough to see a next gen struggle to hit 1080P at 60fps...

Gues they should have put in a little more effort to being a gaming machine instead of being TV box.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Sucked in to MS employers

hystavito
hystavito

Surprised by the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studio, but I don't follow MS' situation closely so maybe it was expected, I don't know.  The reason it surprised me was because it seemed like they were really pushing the idea of producing their own original content.

SkyAboveThePort
SkyAboveThePort

Microsoft buys Nokia and a year later lays off a big chunk of their staff, while former CEO Elop, who ruined Nokia over past years, will keep his fat paycheck at MS. Elop ruins Nokia, and Microsoft buys it just for the brand recognition. Nobody cares about the people. No way to look at this from a positive angle.


Martyr77
Martyr77

X bone won't last too much longer. People at Microsoft want the division gone. The investors want it gone. It is getting killed by PS4 because of how weak it is and its former anti-consumer policies. Sony will always keep PS4 but X bone is a joke.


That said I hope the people who lost their jobs find new ones soon. It sucks I know.

Restivus
Restivus

What was the expected number of layoffs mentioned in the article title?

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

Sigh.  This comment section has become way too depressing.


Know what?  I'm going to go do something novel.  


I'm going to go play some games.   Who's with me?

je29836
je29836

the beginning of the end for microshitstain

thecman25
thecman25

well that's what happens when you make a crapp.y console Microsoft 

homelessgamer
homelessgamer

I used to work for Microsoft,  now look at what I have become.

neowarrior793
neowarrior793

now if the boss took a pay cut to minimise the job losses i would give a little dignity (and respect) to MS but the fact that they are being laid off because its become overgrown as of bad management, indicated to me a failure and now peoples livelihoods have been taken away because of the company. 

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

Microdoomed! I forget that the Xbox is even around really I mostly think and care about Nintendo and SONY.

Shielder7
Shielder7

The sad thing is the higher ups responsible for the divisions failure probably won't be losing their jobs and will probably be getting Bonuses..............

noladem504
noladem504

@demrocks @demrocks yeah...your definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed. The vast majority of these layoffs are from the Nokia merger. Meaning have actually increased their number of employees. 


What is being taught as economics in school today? It doesnt bother you that you are looked at as a generation of id1ots? 

Comments like "But the realy sad thing is that its 18000 people losing their job and the big fat wales repsonsible will continue to eat up big phat paychecks and keep their jobs." are a perfect example of how the school system has failed you (the gross misspelling is a minor issue to the larger point i am making).

Blazen702
Blazen702

Playstation is losing money hand over fist and has Sony with a loss of $100s of millions for the year while MS made over $8 billion in profits. Nice try kid

Blazen702
Blazen702

You are taking out of your A S S. The CEO already stated Xbox is their biggest brand besides windows and isn't going anywhere. PS4 is the joke and a joke on their customers as they tricked you ponys to buy a console with no original content. Get your head out.

noladem504
noladem504

@saturatedbutter With a nice severance and two renowned companies on their resume'.....im pretty sure that is not going to be a problem for them.  

homelessgamer
homelessgamer

I lol everytime i see that avatar with a new name.

noladem504
noladem504

@je29836 How do you figure? They just bought out Nokia (this layoff is them restructuring Nokia) and are in the black....

Blazen702
Blazen702

Playstation is actually going bankrupt and closing studios and have no new original content while MS is over $8 billion in profit this year alone. Nice try pony

_williamwallace
_williamwallace

I can't wait for the end of idi0t attempts at clever insults.

_williamwallace
_williamwallace

This comment you made hAppens when you have no idea wth your talking about

_williamwallace
_williamwallace

Bad management? they acquired a company, this is business as usual after such action.

TwinStripeUK
TwinStripeUK

@neowarrior793 You mean Stephen Elop? Because he was the one in charge at Nokia, prior to them getting taken over. You do realise that if Microsoft hadn't bought them out, all 30,000 might have lost their jobs, don't you?

aeluron1989
aeluron1989

@neowarrior793 I dunno in this economy layoffs are common. Hopefully they learn from this instead of "Oh well didn't need them /wave"

noladem504
noladem504

@Shielder7 Why would they lose their jobs? Who told you there was a division failure? Looks to me this is a sound business move that will benefit not only the consumers (which is the most important) but also the existing employees being they depend on the consumer. Hard decisions like this is why the "higher ups" get paid so well. 

Azerohiro
Azerohiro

Anyyyways... the point is 18,000 layoffs is still 18,000 people losing their jobs.

I really like how you patronize him on his spelling, it's pretty ironic. In my opinion what's really gross is your grammar. Your first paragraph is infested with grammatical errors and poor sentence structuring. Like honestly I don't know why people don't know the difference between you're and your.

Pavlara
Pavlara

@Blazen702 um what? ps4 has sold almost twice as many units than xb1 (9 mill vs 5 mill) hand over fist huh.   you my friend should take your own advise and not talk out of your ass or at the very least dont be a dik 

neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@_williamwallace  first of all picking out the best of nokia and kicking out some of your own staff (who are faithful to the company) is not good management. end of

noladem504
noladem504

@Azerohiro So you attacking grammer and ignoring the logically point that was made makes the fact that you have no argument pretty clear. 

"Anyyyways... the point is 18,000 layoffs is still 18,000 people losing their jobs."   ...and? Is there some "right" to a job? Do you think MS is here to provide people with jobs? LOL this spoiled culture from this generation is going to make the real world a huge slap in the face.

_williamwallace
_williamwallace

That is Damn good management. In a business you cut what you don't need, especially after acquiring competition or you end up like Sony in junk status.

Pavlara
Pavlara

@noladem504 i thought my buddy blaze and i were talking game systems but thanks for the lesson anyway JB im sure your degree looks lovely in your cubicle

neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@TwinStripeUK @neowarrior793 @_williamwallace im probably older then you and know more about business then you as well. MS is not a company that's low on income or have a failing business plan (no matter how much people wants it) MS can afford getting people but they shouldn't get rid of employees thats already in the company.     

noladem504
noladem504

@neowarrior793 @TwinStripeUK @_williamwallace If you are older than 14 you should be ashamed of yourself and consider online economics classes. Also, for your own sake, never invest your own money in a start up company.....by your lack of a business mentality you will fail miserably. 
What MS is doing is a good thing for the consumers....Consumers being the ONLY reason any of these people have or have had a job as good as MS; therefor making this a good thing for the current employees also.