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Microsoft lays off 559 employees as Seattle-area job cuts top 2,700

Microsoft has laid off 559 workers from its Bellevue and Redmond operations Monday, bringing the total of Seattle-area cuts to 2,743, or more than a quarter of the 10,000 cuts announced earlier this year.

The layoffs were announced Monday by the Washington State Employment Security Department.

The cuts reportedly targeted Microsoft’s security operations, according to several media accounts.

Insider reported Friday that hundreds of employees faced cuts in security roles under Charlie Bell, a former Amazon Web Services executive who joined Microsoft in 2021. Insider said the cuts were detailed in leaked Microsoft documents, but did not indicate where the workers were based.

A separate report by Calcalist said dozens of employees working in cybersecurity were being cut from Microsoft operations in Israel.

A Microsoft spokesperson did not comment on the accounts by Business Insider or Calcalist and said Monday’s layoffs “are part of the effort to align our cost structure with our revenue that was announced in January.”

In January, Microsoft joined Amazon, Meta and many other tech firms that had already announced mass layoffs amid slumping sales and fears of a global recession.

Amazon plans more than 18,000 layoffs, the most in the history of the online retailer and cloud computing provider.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the layoffs were necessary to “align our cost structure with our revenue and where we see customer demand.”

Nadella referenced other measures, including “lease consolidation” — which many took to mean that Microsoft might lose some of the office space the company leases outside its sprawling Redmond campus.

In January, Microsoft said it wouldn’t renew its lease at the 26-story City Center Plaza in Bellevue when that lease ends in June 2024.

Microsoft has declined to say where it plans to make the 10,000 cuts. Some employees have expected the bulk to fall in the Seattle area, where the Redmond-based company has much of its operations.

But Nadella has said the 10,000 layoffs would run through March 31, which may indicate that the Seattle-area could be spared more cuts.

Microsoft has a global workforce of around 221,000, according to company figures. The company has declined to say how many of its workers are in the Seattle area, but media accounts put the statewide number at around 50,000.

To date, tech firms based or with operations in Washington have announced more than 32,000 cuts. So far around 6,000 layoffs have been reported to the state since the start of 2022.

On Friday, Blue Nile, a Seattle-based online jeweler, announced 119 job cuts. Seattle Times

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