Microsoft to cull local headcount

Aussie employees hit in the company's plan to shed 5000 staff worldwide

The axe has finally fallen on Microsoft Australia employees, with the company confirming that local staff face layoffs, as part its global plan to shed 5000 jobs.

“Microsoft Australia yesterday announced a reduction in headcount in line with the global announcement to realign the company’s resources and reduce costs,” a Microsoft Australia spokesperson said.

"We are working closely with impacted employees to help them through this difficult transition. This has been a difficult decision that the company does not take lightly, however it is a necessary action to manage our business in line with our priorities in today’s economic climate."

Employees across a number of different departments were affected by the job cuts, however Microsoft Australia is not disclosing any numbers publicly.

Microsoft said in January it would cut 5000 positions as the software giant saw its net income fall 11 per cent for the quarter ending December 31, 2008.

Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters this week announced that 3000 employees were laid off in the second wave of headcount reductions, meaning the company is close to its 5000 headcount reduction.

"As we move forward, we will continue to closely monitor the impact of the economic downturn on the company and if necessary, take further actions on our cost structure, including additional job eliminations," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote in a staff email, confirmed by Computerworld US.

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