Restructuring and employment trends in Europe

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Microsoft job losses likely to fall heaviest in Europe

Microsoft has announced a major restructuring in which nearly 15% of the American IT multinational’s global workforce will lose their jobs within the next year. In practice, Microsoft is now dismissing half of the employees taken on as a result of the Nokia acquisition finalised in April 2014 and eliminating a further 5,000+ jobs from overall operations.

Given the Nokia linkage, it is likely that a large share of the foreseen 18,000 job losses will occur in Microsoft’s European operations. An email to staff by Stephen Elop, former Nokia boss and now Microsoft executive, indicated that the company planned a 'phased exit from Komarom (Hungary)' and to 'ramp down engineering work in Oulu (Finland)'. It also suggested a shift in the share of offshored handset production from Chinese units to Hanoi in Vietnam. The Financial Times report that around 1,100 jobs in Finland are at risk, or almost a quarter of the company’s total workforce in the country.

This is Microsoft’s biggest restructuring in its 39 year history and involves almost three times as many job losses as the last major downsizing in 2009. A search on the ERM restructuring events database reveals 71 separate large-scale restructuring events involving Nokia since 2002 and 9 involving Microsoft.

Updated 18 July 2014


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