Microsoft cuts 5 per cent of UK workforce

Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday it is laying off more workers in the UK, almost completing its plan to cut 5000 jobs worldwide by June 2010.

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Microsoft is to cut 150 jobs in the UK, in addition to the 60 job losses announced in January.

Yesterday’s move represents 5 per cent of the software giant's UK workforce.

Microsoft said in January that it was restructuring, and would cut 5,000 jobs worldwide. Those were the first job cuts in Microsoft's 34-year history.

On 5 May it announced that a further 5 percent of the UK's 2,880 staff will lose their jobs, but said that this remained part of the previously announced restructure.

"As part of the plan we announced in January to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, today Microsoft is commencing consultation to remove additional positions across several areas of the company," a Microsoft spokesman said.

"A number of UK positions are affected, representing about 5 percent of the 2,880 people currently based in the UK," he added.

Furthermore, the Microsoft spokesman said the company would "rebalance resources against our priorities in the current climate".

"We will continue to evaluate our business to ensure that our investments are aligned to current and future revenue opportunities. We believe in the strength of the company, our ability to continue delivering value to customers and our approach to long-term growth."

"As we move forward, we will continue to closely monitor the impact of the economic downturn on the company and if necessary, take further actions on our cost structure, including additional job eliminations," CEO Steve Ballmer wrote in an e-mail to staff.

"As part of the plan we announced in January to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, today we are eliminating additional positions across several areas of the company," said the spokeswoman. "While job eliminations are always difficult, we are taking these necessary actions in response to the global economic downturn."

In a 10-Q filing to the SEC on April 23, Microsoft said it has set aside $237 million for severance for 3,400 laid-off employees, "all of whom are expected to leave the Company by June 30, 2010."

As mentioned in January, Microsoft still plans to hire 2,000 to 3,000 workers over the next 18 months.

Next page: The full text of Steve Ballmer's e-mail to employees:

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