Microsoft, Amazon lays off almost 900 employees in Western Washington

Jan 18, 2023, 7:40 AM | Updated: 3:31 pm
laid off...

FILE - This July 3, 2014, file photo, shows the Microsoft Corp. logo outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, in response to "macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities."The company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023 that had just notified employees of the layoffs, some of which begin immediately.The company said it will also be making changes to its hardware portfolio and consolidating its leased office locations -- all of which are designed to save about $1.2 billion. (AP Photo Ted S. Warren, File)

(AP Photo Ted S. Warren, File)

Another tech giant gets ready for more layoffs; this time, Microsoft confirms that it is cutting 5% of its workforce or about 10,000 jobs.

In an official blog, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared with employees that the company was responding to “macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities” and would begin laying off some employees immediately.

Tech layoffs aren’t ‘going to get better quickly,’ analysts say

The company plans to lay off 878 employees in the Redmond, Bellevue, and Issaquah offices, and become official March 20, according to information posted on the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification website.

The company said it would also make changes to its hardware portfolio and consolidate its leased office locations.

Microsoft did not say which jobs are being cut but that the company is still hiring in “key strategic areas,” including building a “new computer platform” using artificial intelligence.

“When I think about this moment in time, the start of 2023, it’s showtime – for our industry and for Microsoft. That means every one of us and every team across the company must raise the bar and perform better than the competition to deliver meaningful innovation that customers, communities, and countries can truly benefit from,” Nadella said in the announcement. “If we deliver on this, we will emerge stronger and thrive long into the future; it’s as simple as that.”

An Amazon employee walking into work in downtown Seattle told KIRO Newsradio his coworkers are on edge.

“The group that I hang out with – I guess (we’re) coping a little bit through the usual comedy,” said Michael, who provided only his first name.

He said he and his friends at work aren’t too concerned for themselves, but he worries for colleagues who haven’t bonded as well around the office.

According to a report from Bloomberg, this round at Amazon will affect the retail division and human resources. Michael said he’s not sure who might be next in the layoff.

“It’s happening right now,” he said. “It’s nerve-wracking.”

“You wake up and wonder, ‘How many emails am I going to have to send today? Am I going to send my usual meeting emails, or am I going to send 30 new applications today because I got snapped,’” Michael added. “You don’t know.”

Microsoft is not the only tech company laying off employees, with Amazon also starting its largest round of layoffs yet.

Amazon announced earlier this month it would cut more than 18,000 jobs. The layoffs started last year and initially fell hardest on Amazon’s Devices and Services group, which builds the Alexa and Echo speakers.

While the newest round of cuts represents only about 1% of the total workforce, which includes hundreds of thousands of hourly warehouse and delivery personnel, they amount to about 6% of Amazon’s 350,000 corporate employees around the globe.

“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy said earlier this month in a memo to employees. “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”

Facebook’s parent company Meta laid off about 10,000 employees, and Salesforce laid off 10% of their staff late last year.

Sam Campbell and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Microsoft, Amazon lays off almost 900 employees in Western Washington