UPDATE 5-Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs this year as it chops Nokia
(Adds Xbox details)
By Bill Rigby
SEATTLE, July 17 (Reuters) - Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella kicked off one of the largest layoffs in tech history on Thursday, hoping to reshape the aging PC industry titan into a nimbler rival to Apple and Google, and jolt a culture at the company that is used to protecting its existing Windows and Office franchises.
Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it will slash up to 18,000 jobs, or 14 percent of its workforce, over the next 12 months as it almost halves the size of its newly acquired Nokia phone business and tries to become a cloud-computing and mobile-friendly software company.
The larger-than-expected cuts are the deepest in the software giant's 39-year history and come five months into Nadella's tenure.
Beyond the Nokia reductions, Nadella gave few clues about where the ax will fall or what areas will receive more funding.
One source briefed on the cuts said a major victim would be the 175-strong Xbox Entertainment Studios unit, which will start to wind down efforts to create original content. But it will continue to work on its highest-profile project, a filmed version of the blockbuster 'Halo' videogame.
Nadella said he will answer questions from employees at a town hall meeting at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, on Friday and flesh out his plans publicly after Microsoft's quarterly earnings report on July 22.
"We will simplify the way we work to drive greater accountability, become more agile and move faster," Nadella wrote to employees in a memo made public early Thursday. "We plan to have fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to accelerate the flow of information and decision making." Continuación...