Microsoft Cutting 18,000 Jobs, Biggest Layoff in Company History

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella confirmed on Thursday that he's planning massive layoffs amounting to the biggest in the company's history. About 18,000 employees will get pink slips over the next year and the majority of those will come from staff that was absorbed from its purchase of Nokia's handset division.

Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs over the next yearMicrosoft cutting 18,000 jobs over the next year

Mr. Nadella said he plans to move quickly. "We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months," he said.

The layoffs will reduce Microsoft's 127,000 workforce by about 15 percent, and the company will likely lose a substantial number of employees who were part of Nokia's smartphone design process -- a move that makes Microsoft's decision to buy the company more about patents than hardware. Mr. Nadella said about 12,500 former Nokia employees will be fired as part of the worker cutbacks.

Microsoft also plans to stop development of the Android-based smartphones Nokia was working on in favor of building Windows-based handsets.

"In addition, we plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows," he said. "This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps."

The company will cut out some of its management overhead, too, and it looks like Mr. Nadella wants to bring an end to the infighting between divisions that was so prevalent when Steve Ballmer was CEO.