Microsoft employees working in the company’s smartphone division received some bad news today: The tech giant is planning to nix up to 7,800 jobs, and the bulk of layoffs are coming from its struggling phone division.
The news came as little surprise to industry watchers. Microsoft has struggled to absorb Nokia’s handset business since acquiring it last year, and promoting Windows Phone as an alternative to Android or iOS devices has also proven difficult.
In an open letter to employees, CEO Satya Nadella framed the job cuts as a means to “sharpening business focus”:
“I am committed to our first-party devices including phones. However, we need to focus our phone efforts in the near term while driving reinvention. We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem that includes our first-party device family.”
Microsoft will also be writing off $7.6 billion for what Nadella called, in his email, “an impairment charge” related to the Nokia acquisition. He went on to laud the company’s recent sale of its mapping assets to Uber and advertising partnership with AOL. Under Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft has been vocal about its desire to put its cloud platform and core products, like Windows, front and center.
Microsoft will be holding a company-wide Q&A session with Nadella on Thursday.
[via The New York Times]