Microsoft cuts jobs in Seattle area and abroad

The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — Microsoft laid off about 520 people last week, including some in the company’s Seattle-area offices.

The cuts are the latest round of the 2,850 layoffs Microsoft said would be coming during the company’s fiscal year that ends in July, a spokeswoman confirmed on Monday. It’s unclear how many of those cuts have been implemented.

About 220 of the most recent layoffs came in London, as the company cut some engineering jobs related to Skype and the Yammer corporate social networking software.

The Financial Times reported on that segment of the cuts on Friday, quoting former employees who said the company had shifted from the largely independently run chat service Microsoft acquired in 2011 to a unit more tightly integrated into the company.

An additional 300 layoffs fell on other Microsoft groups last week, ZDNet reported, with a majority of those coming in Microsoft’s Seattle-area offices.

A spokeswoman confirmed the figures, but declined to comment further on the employees’ location or which teams they belonged to.

Microsoft employed about 114,000 people at the end of June, including about 44,000 in the greater Seattle area.

Microsoft executives have pledged to investors that they would keep a lid on costs, even as the company continues to spend heavily to build and buy the server farms that power its growing cloud-computing unit. That can put pressure on salaries, benefits and the related personnel costs that are among the company’s largest expenses.

Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood told investors in July that she expected the company’s operating expenses to be unchanged or rise by less than one percent in the company’s 2017 fiscal year, to between $31.1 billion and $31.4 billion.

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