Microsoft could announce wide-sweeping layoffs within the next few days. The possibility of the tech giant laying off a significant part of its workforce was first reported by Sky News and later corroborated by Bloomberg. Sky put the number of the cuts at approximately five percent of the company’s 220,000-person workforce or about 11,000 employees total. Bloomberg said it couldn’t find out the scale of the layoffs but reported they would affect “a number of engineering divisions” and that they’re set to be “significantly larger” than other rounds of job cuts undertaken by Microsoft over the last year.
A Microsoft spokesperson told Engadget the company does not comment on rumor and speculation. If the 11,000 figure is accurate, it would equal the 11,000 jobs Meta eliminated last year and fall short of the 18,000 positions Amazon expects to cut once the retailer is done with its far-reaching layoffs. In any case, Microsoft seemingly finds itself on a familiar trajectory. The company saw profits soar during the first two years of the pandemic, and it tried to capitalize on the moment by going on a hiring spree, adding 50,000 employees over that same time frame. But as recently as this past October, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella warned of imminent belt-tightening due to worsening macroeconomic conditions. “We’re focused on helping our customers do more with less, while investing in secular growth areas and managing our cost structure in a disciplined way,” he told investors and analysts at the time. He’ll likely have more to say about Microsoft’s current position when the company announces its second-quarter earnings on January 24th.