Microsoft’s layoffs not expected to hit North Dakota
FARGO -- Microsoft's Fargo campus is not expected to be affected by massive layoffs announced by the company Thursday. Microsoft said it will slash up to 18,000 jobs, or 14 percent of its workforce, over the next 12 months as it almost halves the...
FARGO - Microsoft’s Fargo campus is not expected to be affected by massive layoffs announced by the company Thursday.
Microsoft said it will slash up to 18,000 jobs, or 14 percent of its workforce, over the next 12 months as it almost halves the size of its newly acquired Nokia phone business and tries to become a cloud-computing and mobile-friendly software company.
The Fargo campus does not expect any of its nearly 900 employees to be laid off, according to Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
“With the company’s layoff announcement, we’re appreciative that those layoffs aren’t expected to take place in North Dakota,” he said.
Hoeven said he received that information Thursday from Don Morton, site leader at the Fargo campus.
Microsoft Fargo directed all questions Thursday to a Seattle-based public relations firm, which couldn’t answer questions about local impacts.
In addition to the 877 full-time employees at Microsoft in Fargo, nearly 700 others at the south Fargo campus do work for vendors of the company.
In addition to research and development, Microsoft Fargo specializes in customer service, inside sales, as well as managing the company’s U.S. payroll and global headcount operations.
About 12,500 of Microsoft’s layoffs will come from eliminating overlaps with the Nokia unit, which Microsoft acquired in April for $7.2 billion, with the bulk of the cuts coming from Nokia itself. The acquisition of Nokia’s handset business in April added 25,000 people to Microsoft’s payroll.
The Nokia-related cuts were widely expected. When it struck the deal, Microsoft said it would cut $600 million per year in costs within 18 months of closing the acquisition.
Fargo also has a Nokia operation along Interstate 94.
Formerly Navteq, it employs about 250 people who create maps and detailed three-dimensional renderings used by consumers online, on smartphones and in automobile navigation devices.
Calls to Nokia in Fargo were directed to its national headquarters. Messages left there were not returned.
Fargo’s Nokia trimmed 50 jobs in 2013 as part of a “streamlining” effort.
Microsoft’s larger-than-expected cuts are the deepest in the software giant’s 39-year history and come five months into CEO Satya Nadella’s tenure.
Beyond the Nokia reductions, Nadella gave few clues about where the ax will fall or what areas will receive more funding.
Reuters contributed to this report.