NEW DELHI: Microsoft has announced its biggest job cut ever, reducing the size of its overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs by 2015.

Of the total layoffs, about 12,500 Nokia Devices and Services employees would be given pink slips. These employees would comprise of both professional and factory workers.

In a letter to Microsoft employees, CEO Satya Nadella said the cuts are part of the company’s efforts to realign its workforce and move towards being a productivity and platform company.

He said that the company is moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and that ‘the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated, will be notified over the next six months.’

Nadella assured that the layoffs will be carried out in a thoughtful and transparent way.

He also informed employees that Microsoft will offer severance to all employees impacted by these changes, as well as job transition assistance in a large number of locations.

Nadella said the company plans to integrate the Nokia Devices and Services teams into Microsoft. It also intends to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows Phone. This essentially means that Microsoft will soon kill Nokia’s X series of Android powered smartphones.

Nadella also talked about having ‘fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to accelerate the flow of information and decision making and making support teams leaner.’

Today’s announcement follows an open memo by Nadella, circulated to employees last week, in which he promised to “flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes.”

He had mentioned that he would address detailed organizational and financial issues for the company’s new financial year, when Microsoft reports quarterly earnings on July 22.

After the acquisition of Nokia, Microsoft has 127,000 employees, far more than rivals Apple and Google. The Redmond giant had announced the completion of the Nokia deal in April. The buyout was originally announced on September 3, 2013.

In the memo, Nadella described Microsoft as a “productivity and platform company” focused on mobile and cloud computing, signalling less emphasis on manufacturing devices.

Nadella did not go into detail about specific changes he planned for Microsoft, but suggested that change was needed.

source: times of india