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Microsoft preparing for big round of layoffs - report

Sources claim redundancies will be in the thousands, Xbox business may be involved

Microsoft is poised to make its biggest round of layoffs in five years, with sources claiming that they could be announced as early as this week.

According to a report from Bloomberg, which cites numerous sources with knowledge of Microsoft's plans, the redundancies are likely to focus on the Nokia handset unit and other related divisions, as the company attempts to reorganise and reduce costs following the $7 billion buyout deal last year. Around 30,000 employees were added to Microsoft as a result of that deal.

However, the cuts are expected to be pervasive, with sources indicating that they could be higher than the 5,800 jobs lost in the cull in 2009. As such, a number of different departments could be reduced, with the marketing teams for the global Xbox business mentioned as one example.

Last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that he did not intend to change the Xbox business in any fundamental way, despite acknowledging the pressing need for a new culture within the organisation.

However, in an interview with Fortune, published today, Nadella indicated that he sees productivity as Microsoft's core, and that Xbox isn't necessarily aligned with that.

"Xbox isn't that far from [the core]," he said. "We can do a few more things than the core. But the point is, you've got to have a culture to do it."

Nadella continued: "I want us to be comfortable to be proud of Xbox, to give it the air cover of Microsoft, but at the same time not confuse it with our core."

Microsoft declined Bloomberg's request for comment.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar

Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.