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Microsoft moves forward on plan to lay off 5,000

MICROSOFT Corp. said yesterday it is pulling the trigger on thousands of the 5,000 job cuts it announced earlier this year.

And in an e-mail to employees, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer left the door open to even more cuts.

"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," he wrote.

When Microsoft announced its first-ever companywide layoffs in late January, the software maker immediately cut 1,400 positions, with the remaining 3,600 cuts to come over an 18-month period.

After making the cuts disclosed yesterday, the software maker said it will be almost finished with the 5,000 layoffs.

Microsoft said the affected workers are split between the US and other countries. In the UK, about 150 workers will lose their jobs, representing about 5 percent of the company's work force there. Microsoft did not disclose additional details about locations or product groups affected by its action.

The company said laid-off employees will be given severance packages, and that it expects some will be rehired as part of the 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs Microsoft is creating between now and the middle of 2010.

Shares of Microsoft slipped 40 cents to close at US$19.79.


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