Microsoft has announced the latest in a series of huge job cuts in its mobile phone division, this time laying off 1,850 staffers at a cost of almost $1 billion as part of what it called “streamlining” its smartphone ambitions.
The announcement on Wednesday came just weeks after the company announced it was selling the feature phone division for $350 million, and a year after it culled 7,800 jobs from the former Nokia business as part of a $7.6 billion writedown on the 2013 deal.
“We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation — with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms.”
Microsoft’s smartphone ambitions have failed to capture a significant share of the lucrative market, and recent figures from Gartner showed it had slipped to just 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
The latest round of layoffs brings the total number of job losses at the smartphone division to over 22,000 since Microsoft purchased Finnish company Nokia for $7.2 billion in September 2013.
The majority of the layoffs — 1,350 — will come at Microsoft Mobile Oy, which is based in Finland, with the other 500 jobs being lost at Microsoft offices around the world. Microsoft will take on a restructuring charge of $950 million, of which approximately $200 million will relate to severance pay. Most of the job losses will happen before the end of the year, Microsoft said, with the changes being complete by July 2017.