May 5, 2009

Microsoft starts second phase of job cuts

U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp. said it would cut as many as 3,600 jobs Tuesday to complete a previously announced downsizing of 5,000 positions.

A spokesman declined to comment on the number of workers to be laid off this week, but its first round of cuts, which took place in January, included 1,400 positions, The Seattle Times reported.

About half the cuts would be U.S. jobs, the company said.

The staffing reductions could be viewed as a restructuring process, as the company said it would hire about 2,500 additional workers before August 2010.

In a letter to Microsoft staff, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said the cuts were a response to the global economic downturn.

This is difficult news to share. Because our success at Microsoft has always been the direct result of the talent, hard work, and commitment of our people, eliminating positions is hard, Ballmer wrote.

With this announcement, we are mostly but not all done with the planned 5,000 job eliminations by June 2010.