Microsoft has announced the layoff of 10,000 employees, making it the latest major company to let off a large number of people. CEO Satya Nadella mentioned changing demand for digital services years into the epidemic, as well as potential recession risks, in an email to colleagues on Wednesday.
“We’re living through times of significant change, and as I meet with customers and partners, a few things are clear,” he wrote. “First, as we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we’re now seeing them optimize their digital spend to do more with less.” “It’s important to note that while we are eliminating roles in some areas, we will continue to hire in key strategic areas,” said Nadella. These areas are likely to include artificial intelligence, with the CEO acknowledging surging interest and advancements in the technology. Microsoft is also rumored to be considering a multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, the company behind the popular artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT.
According to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Microsoft employed roughly 221,000 full-time employees worldwide as of June 30, 2022, with approximately 122,000 of those employees situated in the United States.
The one silver lining to this bad news is that, unlike Twitter, Microsoft will not make big layoffs all at once. The layoffs will begin today and go through March, giving staff time to prepare in case they are among the unlucky five percent.
Employees who are qualified for U.S. benefits have been guaranteed “above-market severance pay, continuous healthcare coverage for six months, continued vesting of stock awards for six months, [and] career transition services” in addition to 60 days’ notice before their untimely termination. Employees working outside the United States will receive whatever their local laws entitle them to.
Large tech layoffs have become all too prevalent in the last year, with companies ranging from Amazon to Snap laying off large numbers of staff. This is without even mentioning Twitter’s high-profile, Elon Musk-induced layoffs, which saw the business abruptly remove the majority of its 7,500 employees.