Microsoft Lays Off 800 More; Washington and Massachusetts Affected

11/4/09Follow @gthuang

Microsoft has confirmed it is cutting 800 positions across the company today, in its third round of layoffs this year. About a quarter of the jobs are in the Seattle area, and an unspecified number of employees in Massachusetts are impacted, among other regions. It is not yet clear which product groups and divisions will be most affected. The news was first reported by TechFlash, and confirmed by PaidContent.

Back in January, Microsoft announced 1,400 layoffs and a plan to eliminate up to 5,000 jobs over the course of 18 months. That was followed by a second round of cuts (an unspecified number) in May. But today’s cuts seem to push the total number of job losses beyond the originally stated 5,000—though with the company continuing to hire in some areas as it cuts in others, it is hard to track the exact number. The latest round of layoffs comes on the heels of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) announcing an 18 percent quarterly decline in profits as compared with the third quarter of last year.

Microsoft is also leaving the door open for additional cuts—a move that seems honest, but could be demoralizing to employees and prospective hires. In a statement given to Xconomy (and to PaidContent first), a Microsoft spokesperson wrote: “Earlier this year, we announced that in order to reduce costs, increase efficiency and prioritize our focus areas, we would eliminate approximately 5,000 positions by June 2010. Today, we are eliminating around 800 positions spread across multiple businesses and locations and have completed our reduction plan sooner than we had anticipated 11 months ago. At the same time, we continue to hire in priority areas, but also understand that continuing to manage our businesses closely, as we always do, can mean additional headcount adjustments.”

The spokesperson added, “We are not breaking out figures by location, but I can confirm that Massachusetts was impacted by today’s job eliminations. We are working with the individual employees to assist them through this transition.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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