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Microsoft Announces Biggest Layoff in History

Microsoft may cut as many as 18,000 jobs in the next year, CEO Satya Nadella announced today in an email to employees.

The majority of these losses, some 12,500 positions, will be dropped from Nokia’s Devices and Services business, which Microsoft acquired earlier this year.

“The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce,” says Nadella.

“With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months."

The announcement marks Nadella’s second companywide email in a week. Last week Thursday the CEO outlined a new strategic vision for the company, in which Xbox plays a major role.

"We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation,” said Nadella.

"Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox. Xbox is one of the most-revered consumer brands, with a growing online community and service, and a raving fan base."

The layoffs are presumed to represent about 14 percent of the entire Microsoft workforce. Historically, the company’s biggest layoff took place back in 2009, where close to 6000 people were affected.

Nadella was named Microsoft CEO in February. He used to head the firm’s computing platforms and develop tools department.