Microsoft announces it’s laying off 10,000 workers: ‘Difficult, but necessary’

Microsoft has announced that it will lay off 10,000 workers by the middle of the summer as the tech giant looks to cut costs in the face of growing economic uncertainty.

The Redmond, Wash.-based tech behemoth, which employs 221,000 people worldwide, said it will shed some of its workforce on the same day that Amazon began cutting 18,000 jobs from its payroll.

Amazon initially announced plans to slash 10,000 jobs — with CEO Andy Jassy warning employees that more layoffs were planned for the new year.

Microsoft said the inhospitable economic climate marred by reduced customer spending forced the company to rearrange its priorities.

“This represents less than 5 percent of our total employee base, with some notifications happening today,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told his employees on Wednesday. “We know this is a challenging time for each person impacted.”

Nadella said Microsoft “will continue to invest in strategic areas for our future … while divesting in other areas.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella informed his employees of the layoffs on Wednesday.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella informed his employees of the layoffs on Wednesday.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

US-based Microsoft employees who will lose their jobs “will receive a variety of benefits, including above-market severance pay, continuing health care coverage for six months, continued vesting of stock awards for six months, career transition services, and 60 days’ notice prior to termination,” according to Nadella.

Microsoft’s move could indicate that the tech sector may continue to shed jobs.

“From a big-picture perspective, another pending round of layoffs at Microsoft suggests the environment is not improving, and likely continues to worsen,” Morningstar analyst Dan Romanoff told Reuters.

In December, Google CEO Sundar Pichai refused to rule out layoffs when pressed by employees at a town hall meeting.

“It’s really tough to predict the future so unfortunately I can’t honestly sit here and make forward-looking commitments,” Pichai said.

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, shed some 10% of its workforce in November. Snapchat’s parent, Snap, laid off a fifth of its headcount in August.

Google had previously announced a hiring slowdown as well as several organizational changes in order to weather the storm.

Elon Musk dismissed more than half of Twitter’s software engineers and developers after he took over the social media company in late October.

Apple announced in November that it was instituting a hiring freeze.