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Microsoft Slashes 10,000 Jobs in Largest Layoff in 8 Years

The cuts are "difficult, but necessary," says CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft headquarters
Jason Hiner/CNET

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 jobs, the company said Wednesday, as it deals with economic uncertainty and shifts focus to areas of growth, such as artificial intelligence. 

The cuts, which began Wednesday and will go through March, will impact less than 5% of Microsoft's global workforce, CEO Satya Nadella said in a memo to employees. The tech giant declined to say which roles are being cut. But the layoffs are reportedly impacting its engineering divisions

"These decisions are difficult, but necessary," said Nadella. "They are especially difficult because they impact people and people's lives – our colleagues and friends."

The cuts come ahead of Microsoft's quarterly earnings on Tuesday and almost three months to the day since the tech giant laid off nearly 1,000 employees in October. It's the largest layoff at Microsoft in roughly eight years, when the company cut more than 20,000 jobs between 2014 and 2015 following its ill-fated acquisition of phone maker Nokia

In addition to the job cuts, Microsoft said it also plans to make changes to its hardware portfolio and consolidate its leased office spaces. The changes, including severance, are expected to cost the company $1.2 billion, Nadella said.

Microsoft's decision adds to the layoffs that have hit the tech industry in recent months. Google Verily, T-Mobile, Intel and Meta, among others, have reduced staff in response to economic upheaval. Amazon is also cutting 18,000 jobs