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Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report

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What is being described as the "biggest round of job cuts" to hit Microsoft for five years is on its way, or so we've been told.

The software mammoth “could” unveil staff cuts that were alluded to by chief executive Satya Nadella in his flabby PR-authored communication last week.

The cuts are reported to be the biggest in five years for Microsoft – the last round of this magnitude was in 2009, when former CEO Steve Ballmer cut 5,000 Redmondians – five per cent of staff.

Those were the first round of staff cuts in Microsoft’s history.

According to the report, Nadella will top Ballmer’s number, eliminating positions at the Nokia mobile phone business and in areas of overlap between Microsoft and Nokia.

Also going are people in engineering and marketing for businesses including the global Xbox team.

Marketing is the first point of call for any CEO looking to trim the corporate fat.

Ballmer five years ago also cut staff in marketing and trimmed around the edges of the main business by closing 13 small interests that included MSN Encarta and a number of packaged consumer operations.

This time Microsoft is trying to shape up structurally in the wake of the Nokia mega gulp.

That purchase catapulted Microsoft’s headcount way past the 100,000 barrier that Ballmer had been judiciously keeping beneath with the cuts of 2009.

Nadella will also use the cuts for yet another bout of corporate restructuring, 12 months after the last re-org, again intended to make Microsoft more nimble. ®

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