Microsoft is cutting 10,000 jobs as it cited a post-pandemic shift in digital spending habits and weakness in the global economy.
The Guardian reports that the tech group joined a list of U.S. peers making extensive job cuts, including Facebook owner Meta, Amazon, and business software-maker Salesforce, who have scaled back on workforce expansions stoked by a pandemic-related boom in demand for their services and products that have lost momentum.
Microsoft employs about 220,000 people worldwide, with the cuts representing less than 5% of its total workforce. The layoffs, to be carried out by the end of March, will result in a charge of $1.2bn (£1bn) in the second quarter of its fiscal year, Microsoft said.
One analyst said Microsoft and other U.S. tech companies were fighting a “category five near-term economic storm.”
Overzealous hiring during the pandemic has become a feature of many tech firms’ job-cutting announcements in recent months. Amazon’s workforce had doubled to 1.5 million since March 2020 and in January the company said it would cut 18,000 of those roles.
Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, Meta, announced 11,000 redundancies in November after admitting that an increase in online activity during the pandemic “did not play out the way I expected.”
Salesforce’s chief executive, Marc Benioff, said this month as he announced about 8,000 job cuts that “we hired too many people leading into this economic downturn we’re now facing.”
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.