back to article Microsoft swings axe at 18,000 bods in its largest ever round of layoffs

Microsoft is preparing to lay off as many as 18,000 workers – the biggest loss of heads in the software giant’s history – and the Nokia unit is bearing the brunt. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Thursday it would cut 14 percent of its 127,000-strong workforce over the next 12 months. It dropped the news before the markets …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other MS news

    Estimated shipments of Surface pros have now been revised and are down 18,000 on previous shipment expectations

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: In other MS news

      It's 18,001 actually.

    2. Mpeler
      Paris Hilton

      Re: In other MS news

      Just goes to show it's usually not a good idea to Elop(e)......

      Paris...well, I did say usually....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Told you so

    When Stephen Elope was parachuted into Nokia? (were the Finns so dumb?).

    Ms is now out to destroy value and Nokia is a shell.

    Maybe they can start a fork of Android / windows/whatever combination, under the Sailfish/Jolla brand and save their talents to utilise it productively. Such a shame they had to go, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Told you so

      Has to be said Nokia seemed to have been doing a pretty solid job of drowning itself long before Elope turned up.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward 101

          Re: Told you so

          No, the rot started long before he joined. Nokia made some calamitous decisions (to be more accurate, non-decisions) between 2007-2010 and left the door open to Apple, Samsung, HTC and RIM to take it's market share.

          1. Mage Silver badge

            Re: Told you so

            Nokia started to lose the plot around 2002

            1. Anna Logg

              Re: Told you so

              yep, having seen it from the inside that was pretty much the point where the plot was lost and the ambitious idiots had taken over.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Told you so

            The proof is in the numbers though. Before Elop,, Nokia was selling 100 million Symbian handsets and the following year (Elop was CEO in that year), 130 million Symbian handsets. So they saw a 30% increase year over year. The subsequent year (before the burning platform memo) in the first quarter, Symbian sales were even higher and showed good growth again. After the memo, the sales went south fast.

            At least Nokia was the number 1 WP vendor.

    2. Kunari

      Re: Told you so

      It'd be poetic justice if some of the ex-Nokia(Microsoft) employees make a smart phone startup and eat MS's lunch.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: make a smart phone startup and eat MS's lunch.

        Not many calories in that! Google's lunch would be much more filling....

  3. Refugee from Windows

    Opportunity missed

    They could have laid off all of the development team for IE, and do a lot of us a favour. After all it doesn't make any money does it?

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    I liked the phone so much, I bought the company...

    ... and then I fired them all.

  5. Andus McCoatover

    Hitting my adopted city - Oulu.

    One of the larger employers in the city will close. Papers suggest Microsoft's former units at Peltola and Technology Village is out. They're big sites, and I can't see many takers for the buildings.

    Knock-on effect for Oulu University's Radio facility, I guess.

    This place'll be a ghost town soon....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hitting my adopted city - Oulu.

      The bright side: this will put an end to the endless supply of money the local ice hockey team has been enjoying the past 10 years or so. And my favourite team since childhood (Tappara) will finally stand a chance at the finals next year perhaps!! (Yes, still trying to recover from the last season finals.)

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Hitting my adopted city - Oulu.

        Time for other companies to move in, shurely?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nadella's new strategy

    "Mobile Half, Cloud First."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nadella's new strategy

      'Cloud first, Staff last'

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nadella's new strategy

        "Staff last, Customers last"

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Mobile first, cloud first

          Customers last, staff last, partners last, developers last.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Mobile first, cloud first

            Elop First, Everything Else Last

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Mobile first, cloud first

            Executive bonuses first.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good God, Synergies AND Alignment

    And there was me thinking alignment was the new synergy, on the buzzword bingo card. Certainly, when beloved employer speaks of alignment, you know there'll be blood on the carpet.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Good God, Synergies AND Alignment

      He also said agile.

      It's 100% Dilbert: "We have aligned agile synergies - we are INVINCIBLE!"

    2. Canecutter

      Re: Good God, Synergies AND Alignment


      Must be a synonym for groupthink. Whenever I hear the word "alignment" used in a corporate setting, it always looks on closer examination to be used as a shorthand/euphemism for "Here's what you are to think. No variations will be permitted. Any attempts to vary will be met with the most merciless browbeating. Good luck; have a nice day."

      "Alignment", "Teamwork", and "Synergy", whenever used in a corporate setting make me cringe in anticipation of someone using a hammer drill on my lower molars.

      Please accept my apologies; I am not normally cynical.

  8. James 51

    If wonder if any of the Jolla staff will sneak back into their old work and stick some help wanted posters on Nokia noticeboards.

    1. wyatt
      Thumb Up

      I hope so! I've a Nokia N9 and am toying with the idea of buying a Jolla phone. However.. there's too many functions missing or that need improving before I do that. I wonder how Jolla and Sailfish are getting on?

      1. James 51

        there's a version that has been ported to the n9, if you're feeling brave.

        1. phil dude

          dual boot

          no need, ubiboot makes it dual boot so you can try any number of OS's without fear of losing meego...

          Still, there might be jolla refresh in the pipe, and their android-on-demand IMHO is the perfect phone solution.

          Put android in a cage, on a short leash...


  9. Stuart 22

    Encarta - could have mapped M$'s future

    Wow - I had forgotten that market leading product of its time. If only M$ could have thought past selling CDs and keeping it in house they could have been where Wikipedia is now. Except, like YouTube, it would be earning a fortune from ads.

  10. Wyrdness

    So Microsoft is cutting jobs to focus on mobile and devices. And two thirds of the cuts are coming from former Nokia staff who probably have more expertise in mobile and devices than the rest of Microsoft put together. That's synergy, folks!

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      "And two thirds of the cuts are coming from former Nokia staff who probably have more expertise in mobile and devices than the rest of Microsoft put together."

      Yes, but crucially, they're not American jobs that are being lost, so nobody in those united states gives a crap.

      On the flip side, wouldn't it be nice if British companies showed half as much patriotism? There'd be a lot fewer "technology parks" in India, and a lot fewer unemployed IT staffers over here.

  11. Stevie Silver badge


    "synergies and strategic alignment" apparently means "outsourcing".

    At least, that's the only way I can get this version to match the one I heard on NPR on my commute in.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any bets

    If one former Nokia employee that should be first on the chopping block will go - Stephen Elope.

    I suspect not.

    1. synonymous cowherd

      Re: Any bets

      I bet he does well out of it tho' He's got them, you know, money sniffing pockets like Mr Crabbs wears ;P (

  13. m4r35n357

    Remember . . .

    This all started when Microsoft's Elop was parachuted into Nokia to kill Maemo/Meego and drop Android for Windoze phone.

  14. typeo

    Goodbye X series

    Looks like the X series is being canned to so there goes any further Nokia Android phones.

    "In addition, we plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows."

  15. FuzzyTheBear

    Epic Failure = Increased share price.

    If you can find the logic in this , i can't . Firing 18000 people is no accomplishment , it's an epic failure.

    I totally wish the workers and families good luck. But rewarding execs for firing masses of people is totally indecent. He should fire himself first. MS can now go to hell and i'm not sure anyone will care.

    1. MrRtd

      Re: Epic Failure = Increased share price.

      I always find it disturbing that every time a big publicly traded company lays off a huge chunk of employees the share prices always go up, basically the "market" is celebrating the removal of thousands of jobs.

      1. synonymous cowherd

        Re: Epic Failure = Increased share price.

        That's capitalism for yer, let them eat cake. There are big profits always to be made from mass misery/ job losses. Look at war, one of the most profitable enterprises around, why do you think we have so much of it

      2. Andrew Carter

        Re: Epic Failure = Increased share price.

        Let's be clear about this. The company is -owned- by the shareholders. Not the employees. So if the shareholders decide to buy or sell their shares in response to a piece of news, that is their prerogative.

        Yes, there are many desperately sad consequences to laying off this many people, but you can't blame 'the market'. This is the very same market that allows these exact same companies to raise vast amounts of cash through initial and subsequent share offerings for internal investment. And once these companies are owned by 'the market', of course they need to be beholden to their masters, just like any other company. You do what your boss tells you. If you don't like it, choose a new boss!

        Now, if your response to that is 'But I -did- like it, I wanted to work there, and now they've fired me', then I completely sympathize, and yet at the same time I have to ask a couple of questions.

        - If you -don't- agree with the strategy being offered by 'the management', why would you want to work there any more anyway? You have good skills, you have good ideas, you know you want to 'steal their lunch' - JFDI.

        - If you -do- agree with their strategy, then you can see why you might be the victim here. And again, you have good skills, you have good ideas, you know you want to 'steal their lunch' - JFDI.

        Sadly, long gone are the days when -anyone- has a job for life. Not even in extremely socialist (aka 'communist') societies is that true any more. And if you are willing to accept that premise, that a 'job for life' is not on offer, then you have to expect that at some point you -will- be asked to leave. Knowing that, all you can do is prepare for that day...

        1. gryff

          Re: Epic Failure = Increased share price.

          "- If you -don't- agree with the strategy being offered by 'the management', why would you want to work there any more anyway?"

          ..because like most people I've got bills to pay..

          a company isn't just strategy, it is also culture, people, working environment, terms and conditions.

    2. SVV Silver badge

      Slash and cash

      It's one of the oldest tricks in the book, sadly for all those who've just been "presented with new opportunities".

      However the short term share price increase that the big share holders will cash in on will only mask the longer term decline that this is a sign of. The smart money always gets out at this point.

      1. Canecutter

        Re: Slash and cash

        Yep. That is how we know that even Microsoft has devolved to just managing its share price.

        Sort of reminds me of this obscure company about a decade ago who acquired its competitor in hopes of also garnering that competitor's customers. When said customers stayed away in droves, the company's lady CEO (who later ran for political office and is associated with the USA's Republican Party) would announce a series of layoffs whenever the share price started falling. Invariably the share price would go up a bit for a few weeks. Then it would start falling again, and the cycle would begin again.

        At the time, I became convinced that every publicly traded company eventually devolves to just managing its share price.

        The pattern appears to continue.

    3. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Epic Failure = Increased share price.

      "MS can now go to hell and i'm not sure anyone will care."


      Increasingly these days, "MS can now go to hell and i'm not sure anyone will notice."

  16. Frankee Llonnygog

    If a head is cut off, two more will take its place!

    Hail Hydra!

  17. Captain Scarlet Silver badge


    Reminds me of the Dilbert episode, I wonder if this is where Wally currently resides.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RIP Nokia

    A layoff is the last resort to keep the quarterly reports look less embarrassing. Any dunce can get rid of workers: Carol Bartz did it at Yahoo.

    But that's to be expected. Nobody gives a flip to Nokia phones anymore since the appointment of Trojan Horse Elop, only a few raving loonies still care about Lumia phones.

    If Satya has any sense, he would immediately kill off Windows Phone and focus resources on the enterprise and cloud and those things. And to making a proper desktop OS: Windows 9. Microsoft's mobile ambitions are dead, the latest Kantar numbers do not lie.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They have a brand new smartphone model series in the pipeline ...

    .... The Mumia 9000:

  20. Truth4u

    If Microsoft buys your company

    better start looking for a new job. And no they don''t care how many families lives they destroy to save half a percent on their annual report.

  21. Phil_Evans

    History tells us all we need to know.

    Let's rewind here.

    Circa 2000, Nokia was the undisputed phone God of creation. there were no smartphones. Some groovy WAP things and all, but no smartphones

    Circa 2002 - Microsoft, largely with an entire market-making opportunity produce a smartphone. Laughter and applause as the world carries on with Symbian.

    Circa 2007, iPhone. Applause but less laughter.

    Circa after that, world apes i-phone, calls it Android and Windows Phone.

    Circa 2012, world still laughing at Windows Phone. Microsoft buys company with biggest user base on the planet

    >>>Circa 2013 - Microsoft gives world Nokia phones with most popular OS on the planet<<<

    Circa 2014 - Microsoft pretends Android not important in volume market and rescinds in favour of OS with large shoes and spinning bow tie.

    Circa 2018 - World appreciates the old ones are the best ones and continues laughing.

    Am I missing something or is there a pattern of missing opportunities here?

  22. gryff

    the end of the road.

    Looks like all low end development is gone (Beijing and Oulu cuts)

    All European sites outside Finland are gone (except Lund which was a recent acquisition).

    San Diego cut back down to "just certify everyone else's R&D"

    MS would have probably cut more in China except for the Chinese government.

    So now its making showcases for WinPho and Microsoft's "digital offerings" which case why not shutdown the whole Nokia acquisition and outsource it to Foxconn? Because MS isn't going for market share or profit on the basis of these announcements...

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