Microsoft announced that it would be laying off some 18,000 employees; according to a July 17 article in the New York Times. Nokia, acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, would be the most impacted; though the article does not say specifically how many of the layoffs would come from Nokia. The 18,000 jobs (lost) represent 14% of Microsoft’s overall workforce. The news drove Microsoft shares up by 3%.
Washington based Microsoft was founded 39 years ago, according to Wikipedia. The company was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The company launched Microsoft Office in 1984, and has since been viewed as a company always on the cutting edge of technology. The Nokia acquisition was (is) believed to allow Microsoft to get back into the smart phone business.
Microsoft’s Midwest Center has offices in Downers Grove, Bloomington, and Chicago Illinois. The company did not say whether or not any of these locations would be impacted by the layoffs. The Nokia acquisition pushed Microsoft up to 127,000 employees. New Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said that the moves would make Microsoft “leaner.”
100 Chicagoans were asked about the announcement made by Microsoft. Over 75 percent stated that they had never been impacted by a layoff. However, all of those polled stated that they had either been impacted or knew someone who was impacted by a layoff. They also listed Microsoft as being amongst the last companies they would expect to announce layoffs.
Though the economy has been on the upswing, layoffs and rightsizing are now a part of America’s DNA. Microsoft’s announcement, though not a surprise, was somewhat shocking; based on the number of employees being displaced. Did the announcement have a bigger emotional impact because it was Microsoft? Would you consider moving to another state if your job was eliminated?