Additional Microsoft Layoffs at Wilsonville Plant Announced
Making good on its promise, software giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is laying off additional employees at its soon-to-be-closed factory in Wilsonville, Oregon. The latest Microsoft layoffs are an extension of the first string of job cuts, which hit the same factory earlier this year.
Microsoft is laying off 50 more employees at the plant that is known for manufacturing Microsoft’s large touchscreen monitor, the “Surface Hub.” Affected jobs include engineers, technicians, and as managerial positions. The layoffs will go into effect on January 5, 2018.
That’s not all; announcements of further layoffs are expected in the coming two months, with another dozen or so employees expected to lose their jobs as the plant closes for good.
Microsoft warned of these layoffs back in July, when it revealed its plan to shutter the facility. The software company will continue to produce the Surface Hub monitors in China after killing dozens of manufacturing jobs in Wilsonville.
The decision to close the factory may partly have to do with slow demand for these large screen monitors, which come in sizes ranging between 55″ and 84″. The monitors found their most obvious use in conference rooms, where they replaced old-school whiteboards and projectors. Since their niche market remained medium-to-large businesses, the modest demand possibly no longer warranted largescale production.
Before Microsoft announced plans to close the 70,000-square-foot facility, the Wilsonville plant had about 124 employees, including hardware engineers and manufacturing technicians.
Massive Microsoft Job Cuts an Outcome of Company’s Shift to Cloud Computing
Microsoft, like most other technology companies, is gradually making a shift toward cloud computing, and “Microsoft Azure” remains its big focus. In the process, the company is scaling back its hardware business of personal computers. Employees at its hardware unit are consequently facing the threat of significant job cuts.
Microsoft already revealed plans to cut thousands of jobs this year. Around 3,000 employees are going to lose their jobs in the near future, amid the company’s reorganization. Plans for these massive Microsoft job cuts were revealed just days before the Wilsonville plant closure was announced in July.
The rise of cloud computing and automation have jointly laid the groundwork for countless tech sector layoffs this year. Thousands have already lost their jobs across the tech sector, with the trend expected to continue in the coming years. The Microsoft layoffs in 2017 are speculated to affect almost 10% of its global workforce, which currently stands at about 121,000.
“Microsoft Announces Additional Layoffs In Wilsonville,” Wilsonville Patch, November 7, 2017.