Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Microsoft announces big layoffs

Well, the rumors were true:
In light of the further deterioration of global economic conditions, Microsoft announced additional steps to manage costs, including the reduction of headcount-related expenses, vendors and contingent staff, facilities, capital expenditures and marketing. As part of this plan, Microsoft will eliminate up to 5,000 jobs in R&D, marketing, sales, finance, legal, HR, and IT over the next 18 months, including 1,400 jobs today. These initiatives will reduce the company’s annual operating expense run rate by approximately $1.5 billion and reduce fiscal year 2009 capital expenditures by $700 million.
This is bad news for Redmond, Puget Sound, and all of Washington State. Losing five thousand high tech jobs will really hurt.

Now, it's possible a few of people getting pink slips will be able to find work elsewhere in the company, but most will have to leave Microsoft and find another employer, or retire if they can afford it. Microsoft says it will offer severance packages to employees who are being displaced.

Governor Chris Gregoire's office has just issued a statement on the layoffs.
It is disheartening that one of Washington's premier businesses is reducing its work force. Unfortunately, it is another indication that the national economic recession is deepening.

Today’s news underscores the need to pass my Washington Jobs Now initiative and the federal recovery plan.

I am confident these efforts will get people back to work as well as remake our state and national economies.

Together we must find the path through this recession and get our economy moving again. Washington is a state of innovation, determination and creativity.

We can and must create new jobs for our families.

Those Microsoft employees affected by today’s announcement should know that Washington’s Employment Security Department and local rapid response teams will help them file for unemployment insurance and explore other job opportunities. Our highest priority is to help those workers find other good jobs as quickly as possible.
Microsoft is also halting building expansion plans in an effort to cut costs. Combined with the layoffs and other belt-tightening measures, the company expects to save one and a half billion dollars for the 2009 fiscal year.


Blogger mike doty said...

Destroy the lives of so many people in order to save money (increase profit). Of course all dividends paid out to stockholders, are tax-free. I think if we changed Bush's wealthy give-aways like this one and imposed some "windfall profits" taxes on these corporations, then they wouldn't be as likely to lay people off to improve their (heavily taxed) profits. They would prefer to reinvest that money rather than pay big taxes on their profits.

January 25, 2009 6:04 AM  

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