Microsoft lays off more workers

The company may have let go of as many as 3,000 people and more layoff may occur according to CEO Steve Ballmer

Microsoft on Tuesday announced new job cuts that are part of the 5,000 the company said in January that it expected to eliminate.

The company did not say exactly how many people would be affected or describe which groups will lose the positions.

However, in a memo that CEO Steve Ballmer sent to employees and that has been seen by IDG News Service, he said that this round of layoffs nearly completes the planned 5,000 total cuts. In January, the company laid off 1,400 people, so Tuesday's cuts could be close to 3,000.

Washington state, where Microsoft is based, requires companies to disclose layoffs of this size, so within a few days the exact number should become public.

People in the U.S. and several countries around the world were affected, Ballmer said.

He also said that more cuts could happen. "We will continue to closely monitor the impact of the economic downturn on the company and if necessary, take further actions on our cost structure including additional job eliminations," he wrote in the memo.

When Microsoft first announced plans to lay off workers by June 2010, under pressure of a weakening economy, it also said that it planned to hire 2,000 to 3,000 people during the same time frame.

Even after laying off 1,400 people earlier this year, Microsoft said that during the first three months of this year it lost a total of 800 jobs, indicating the level of hiring that continued even amid the layoffs.

Worldwide, Microsoft employs over 95,000 people, according to its Web site.

Microsoft clearly continues to struggle in the difficult economy. For the first quarter of this year, it reported a decrease in earnings per share of 30 percent compared to last year.

Revenue was down 6 percent over last year too.

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
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