Microsoft to cut 10,000 jobs in push to bring down costs

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Microsoft will lay off 10,000 employees by the end of March, or nearly 5 per cent of its workforce, as the company cuts back a pandemic hiring spree.

The lay-offs are “in response to macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities,” the technology group said in a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

There will also be “changes to our hardware portfolio, and lease consolidation to create higher density across our workspaces,” Microsoft said. The software giant had 221,000 workers at the end of its last financial year, in June 2022.

The actions are expected to result in a $1.2bn charge for its second fiscal quarter, which ended in December, or a 12-cent hit to its earnings per share.

Microsoft is the latest tech company to cut costs and jobs in response to slowing demand, reversing a pandemic-era hiring binge. The group added 40,000 roles in the year to June 2022 as it bet on a long-term increase in demand for digital services prompted by the boom in remote working.

Earlier this month, Salesforce, which had almost 80,000 employees at the end of October, announced plans to cut 10 per cent of its staff. Facebook and WhatsApp parent Meta will also cut about 13 per cent of its workforce.

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