Even Microsoft Is Weighing Layoffs

Need to trim costs in weak economy has software firm looking at rare cuts

By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User

Posted Jan 15, 2009 9:23 AM CST

(Newser) – Microsoft could be considering the first large-scale layoff in its history, as it looks for ways to trim costs, reports the Wall Street Journal. Up to 15,000 positions are rumored to be at risk—6% of its workforce—but insiders say the cuts, across all divisions, are likely to be lower. CEO Steve Ballmer last week said Microsoft, known as one of the "steadiest ships" in the tech industry, was working at “finding our right balance,” but he declined to comment on layoffs.

Microsoft is set to release quarterly results next Thursday, and could announce cost-cutting plans then. Microsoft would hardly be the first tech firm to ax workers. Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo, Sun Microsystems, and EMC already have announced layoffs this year.

Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer delivers the keynote address Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
The Microsoft booth is shown at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Friday, Jan. 9, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer gestures during an interview with the AP, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2008, at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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