Microsoft is set to slash approximately 50 positions in Australia as part of its latest round of redundancies, a move that follows the elimination of over 10,000 jobs earlier this year.
With around 2,500 local employees, the latest wave of lay-offs will bring the total number of Australia-based staff axed this year to 200.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the job cuts, but the specific roles and organizational areas impacted were not disclosed.
“Organizational and workforce adjustments are a necessary and regular part of managing our business,” the Microsoft spokesperson stated.
The company had previously reduced its workforce by 10,000 employees, which accounted for approximately 5 percent of its global workforce, citing “macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities” as the reasons behind the move.
“While we are eliminating roles in some areas, we will continue to hire in key strategic areas,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an email to employees back in January.
The technology sector, once in the midst of a hiring spree buoyed by investor cash and the surge in demand for cloud-based software products during the Covid pandemic, is now facing challenging times due to rising interest rates, high inflation, and concerns about an economic slowdown.
This “tech wreck” has led tech giants and start-ups alike to make tough decisions and downsize their workforce. Even Australian tech start-ups have not been immune to the trend, with notable companies like Atlassian cutting 500 workers (approximately 5 percent of its workforce) in March.
Despite the challenges, Microsoft has found success in recent months, driven in part by its integration of ChatGPT, an AI technology developed in partnership with OpenAI. The company has incorporated ChatGPT into its Bing search engine and Microsoft Office tools, like Word and Excel. This positive development has contributed to a 32.8 percent increase in Microsoft’s shares over the past year.
As the tech industry continues to navigate through uncertain times, companies like Microsoft remain committed to prioritizing strategic growth areas and providing support to their customers and partners. However, the ongoing economic landscape and evolving market dynamics will inevitably shape their future decisions and actions.