Microsoft mobile-handset manufacturing consolidation continues: Report

Microsoft is continuing to consolidate its mobile-handset manufacturing properties, but is not making any additional, unannounced job cuts as a result.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is continuing to consolidate its mobile-handset manufacturing factories, according to a new MarketWatch report.

"Microsoft to cut 9,000 jobs in China," read the headline on the February 25 MarketWatch report about the coming closure of two factories formerly run by Nokia. That report -- citing other local stories -- claimed 9,000 jobs in total would be eliminated as a result of the Chinese handset-manufacturing closure and consolidation.

What the MarketWatch report didn't spell out, however, is whether there are any new or additional job cuts happening as a result of the reported Chinese factory closures.

It looks like the answer to that is no.

Microsoft announced last July that the company would be cutting approximately 18,000 jobs. An estimated 12,500 of those jobs were said to be employees Microsoft acquired as part of its purchase of Nokia's handset and services business. (Microsoft ultimately acquired 25,000 former Nokia employees when it bought that business.)

Microsoft cut 13,000 employees in its first round of layoffs -- which included some, but not all of the former Nokia employees, according to my sources. Microsoft cut 2,100 and then another 3,000 employees last fall in rounds two and three of its cuts.

If Microsoft is still holding to its original plan to cut 18,000 jobs total, there should have been just a few remaining cuts made by January 2015, which was Microsoft's original target completion date for the "vast majority" of the planned layoffs.

My sources say the 9,000 job cuts mentioned in this MarketWatch report are likely jobs that already were eliminated in round one of Microsoft's layoffs and not some new, previously unannounced cuts.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed "these are a part of previously announced cuts."

Microsoft is rumored to be announcing new low-/mid-range Lumia handsets at next week's Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.

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