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Microsoft announces biggest job cuts since 2009

Microsoft looks set for its biggest round of job cuts in five years to allow for the integration of Nokia Oyj's handset unit.

It has not yet been confirmed in what parts of the business the reductions will take place, but they could occur in the Nokia unit and parts of Microsoft that overlap with it, alongside engineering and marketing.

Read more: An in-depth look at Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia: Will it really pay off? (opens in new tab)

Since acquiring Nokia's handset business, the firm's staff numbers have reached 127,000, more than both Apple and Google. Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports that this could result in the company's largest layoff since 2009.

The restructuring may end up even dwarfing those redundancies, when 5,800 jobs were cut, amounting to around 5 per cent of the then workforce.

Chief executive Satya Nadella circulated a memo to employees last week promising to "flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes," but did not refer to any job losses specifically.

Further information on the cuts and other financial issues is expected to arrive when Microsoft reports quarterly results on 22 July.

Read more: Is Nadella really the right man for the Microsoft CEO job? (opens in new tab)

Peter Wootton, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, refused to comment on what could be the largest job cuts in the company's history.

Microsoft is the latest technology firm looking to reduce costs through job cuts. Hewlett-Packard recently announced staff reductions after the eleventh straight quarter of declining sales.

Barclay Ballard
Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.