Microsoft may announce its biggest layoffs ever on Thursday

The action will be much bigger than the 5800 job cuts announced in 2009, The New York Times said

Microsoft reportedly will announce the biggest round of layoffs in its history on Thursday as massive changes wrought by new CEO Satya Nadella start to take hold at the struggling IT giant.

The layoffs, which have been expected amid Nadella's calls for transformation at Microsoft, will dwarf the 5800 job cuts it announced in 2009, The New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources briefed on the decision. It said human resources managers have reserved conference rooms for most of Thursday, presumably to meet with laid-off employees.

Most but not all of the cuts will be from businesses Microsoft took on through its acquisition of Nokia earlier this year, which added about 25,000 workers, the Times reported. Microsoft, founded in 1975 and based in Redmond, Washington, has about 130,000 employees.

In a long memo sent to employees last week and published online, Nadella said he would lead major changes in Microsoft's culture.

"Nothing is off the table," he wrote.

The company is set to announce its latest financial results on July 22.

Microsoft has floundered in recent years as it tries to shift from a reliance on its declining PC software business to mobile and other categories. Former CEO, Steve Ballmer, announced a reorgansation around "devices and services" in 2012 before giving up his seat to Nadella in February. Microsoft had taken months to choose Ballmer's successor.

Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw said the company would not comment on the rumours.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
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