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Microsoft Spokesperson Calls Impending Layoffs a ‘Rumor’

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Microsoft reportedly plans to cut thousands of positions with many expected to begin this week amid hiring freezes and previous layoffs in the company. The layoffs will allegedly include Microsoft’s engineering and human resources departments and will be the latest in a series of layoffs in the technology industry.

The company currently employs more than 220,000 people, but Sky News reported that Microsoft allegedly plans to cut about five percent of its staff, which it is said to announce in the coming days. The layoffs would be the largest round of cuts for the company in the past year and would amount to a loss of roughly 11,000 jobs.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment in an email to Gizmodo, calling the reports a “rumor.” However, Business Insider reported that according to one person familiar with the matter, Microsoft could potentially cut its recruiting staff by up to one-third. They added that the company may take a year or two before it starts hiring at the same rate prior to the layoffs.

The company first announced plans to lay off less than one percent of its workforce in July of last year, but in August it ended the contracts for hundreds of recruiters and talent-acquisition staff early. Two months later, 1,000 Microsoft employees from the Xbox console gaming division, the Strategic Missions and Technology organization, and other units were laid off, Business Insider reported at the time.

A Microsoft spokesperson told the outlet, “Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly.” They added, “We will continue to invest in our business and hire in key growth areas in the year ahead.”

The newly reported layoffs are just the latest in a significant number of job cuts in recent months, following Amazon’s announcement that it plans to cut 18,000 positions. Meanwhile, the cloud software giant, Salesforce, announced it is cutting 8,000 jobs, and Facebook’s parent company, Trimhas cut its workforce by about 11,000 jobs.

Morningstar analyst Dan Romanoff told Reuters“From a big picture perspective, another pending round of layoffs at Microsoft suggests the environment is not improving and likely continues to worsen.”

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