Microsoft’s Wilsonville Plant Closing
Technology behemoth Microsoft Corporation has announced that it will be closing its manufacturing plant in Wilsonville, Oregon at the end of this year. The company will begin phasing out production at the plant, with the first round of layoffs taking place in September.
First, 61 employees at the plant will lose their jobs in September, while an additional 63 employees will be laid off in the following months, through January 2018. Microsoft has confirmed that some Wilsonville-based employees will retain their jobs after January in order to oversee the closure of the facility.
All in all, 124 employees will lose their jobs due to the factory closure.
Engineers working at the facility will bear the main brunt of the job cuts. The first round of layoffs in September will affect six senior hardware engineers, six senior electrical engineers, five senior mechanical engineers, and five electrical engineers.
The second round of layoffs, which is expected to occur between November and January, will hit 11 manufacturing technicians, 10 manufacturing line leaders, and five senior hardware engineers.
The Wilsonville plant is known for innovating Microsoft’s giant touchscreen monitor, the “Surface Hub.” The product, which comes in 55″ and 84″ sizes, resembles a large-screen TV. It was primarily created for businesses to use in conference rooms in place of projectors and whiteboards.
The Surface Hub came with built-in interactive functions, including videoconferencing via “Skype,” making it easy for professionals to deliver presentations on a large display with the swipe of a finger.
Microsoft took over the Wilsonville facility in 2012, when it acquired the New York-based tech company Perceptive Pixel. The facility has 70,000 square feet of factory space spread over four acres.
The closure of the Wilsonville plant follows after Microsoft announced a major plan to restructure its business earlier this month. America’s biggest software company is undergoing a massive overhaul, under which thousands of employees are expected to lose their jobs.
Microsoft is gradually making a shift toward cloud computing and away from its traditional personal computing business. As part of the reorganization plan, more than 3,000 Microsoft employees across the globe are expected to face job cuts in the coming months.
“Microsoft to shut down Wilsonville facility,” Wilsonville Spokesman, July 11, 2017.
“Microsoft laying off 124 workers in Wilsonville, Ore., manufacturing plant,” The Seattle Times, July 11, 2017.