Microsoft reported to be planning thousands of job cuts

Photo: PA

Dina Bass

Microsoft plans to cut jobs in a number of engineering divisions on Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the matter.

It means Microsoft will be joining the ranks of technology giants that are scaling back as the industry prepares for a prolonged slump in demand.

The company employs around 3,500 people in Ireland.

The magnitude of the cuts couldn't be learned, but the person, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential matters, said the reduction will be significantly larger than other rounds at Microsoft in the past year. Those cuts impacted less than 1pc of the software giant's workforce of more than 200,000.

Microsoft most recently shrank its workforce in October and July, and has eliminated open positions and paused hiring in various groups.

While technology peers such as Amazon, Meta Platforms and Salesforce have announced cuts by the thousands in the past few months, Microsoft has so far taken smaller steps to deal with a worsening global economic outlook and the potential for a protracted slowdown in demand for software and services.

A representative for Microsoft declined to comment.

The shares, which have dropped 23pc in the past year, were little changed at $240.16 at 3.06pm in New York on Tuesday.

Sky News earlier reported the company was planning to cut thousands of jobs, and Insider reported that Microsoft could reduce its recruiting staff by as much as a third.

Microsoft is forecast to post a sales gain of 2pc in the fiscal third quarter when it reports its earnings on January 24. That would be the slowest revenue increase since fiscal 2017.

Since then, Microsoft's cloud-computing business has fuelled a resurgence in growth, but even that business has begun to decelerate in the past year.

Still, the company has waited longer than many other technology leaders to significantly slash staff.

Cloud rival Amazon is laying off more than 18,000 employees, the biggest reduction in its history.

Facebook parent Meta announced widespread job cuts late last year, and beleaguered social network Twitter has slashed about half its workforce.

Corporate cloud-software maker Salesforce laid off about 10pc of workers earlier this month.

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