Microsoft cuts 'hundreds' in last wave of planned 18,000 layoffs

Microsoft has laid off 'hundreds' of its employees, many of whom worked in the company's IT division, in what may be the last wave of the 18,000 job cuts it announced last July.

Microsoft laid off "hundreds" of employees late last week, in what is expected to be the last wave of the 18,000 planned job cuts officials announced last year.

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The Seattle Times reported on the latest round of layoffs on April 4. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed those cut were notified on Thursday, April 2, with most of those cut being part of Microsoft's IT group.

The Times quoted an e-mail from Microsoft chief information officer Jim DuBois, who said the IT cuts were designed to "remove role overlap, optimize activities and functions, align disciplines with the rest of Microsoft, and, perhaps most importantly, reshape IT for the skills we need to transform."

Microsoft officials announced last July that the company planned to cut 18,000 jobs, the largest layoff in Microsoft's history.The layoffs occurred over several rounds -- July, September and October.

"We expect this to be the last of the anticipated broad cuts as part of the restructuring plan announced last July," a Microsoft spokesperson told me on April 5, via e-mail.

Earlier rounds focused on those who joined Microsoft as part of the Nokia handset and services acquisition. Other teams hit by various layoff rounds included Microsoft's Operating Systems Group, Microsoft Research, Xbox, MSN and other engineering and marketing positions.

Microsoft officials said 12,500 of the 18,000 employees who were cut came from those who joined the company as part of the Nokia acquisition.

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