Microsoft will cut 120 jobs in Ireland as part of a global cost-cutting initiative aimed at trimming its workforce by 10,000 people or 5 per cent this year, staff and the Government have been told.
A 5 per cent reduction of the company’s 3,500 headcount in Ireland would have resulted in some 175 job losses here. However, Irish staff and the Department of Enterprise were informed on Thursday that just 120 roles will be affected across its Irish operations in Leopardstown in south Dublin, sources with knowledge of the situation have told The Irish Times.
Microsoft announced the global job cuts in January amid a sharp correction that has swept through the tech sector in recent weeks as the historic boom in digital demand caused by Covid-19 lockdowns has faded.
Facebook parent, Meta, as well as Amazon, Intel, Google and others have announced similar retrenchments in recent weeks. Online shopping site eBay announced plans this week to trim 400 people, or 4 per cent of its workforce, with some Irish workers reporting on Thursday that they had been told their jobs were going.
Ireland has, however, been relatively insulated from the worst of the reductions with cuts in Irish staff numbers at the likes of payments company Stripe expected to fall below the global targets.
Microsoft added 40,000 workers in its latest financial year, more than double the year before, after chief executive Satya Nadella predicted that customers would continue to spend heavily on technology despite rising inflation and economic stresses.
Announcing the cuts in January, Mr Nadella told staff in a memo: “As we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we’re now seeing them optimise their digital spend to do more with less.”
A spokeswoman for Microsoft in Ireland said: “These workforce reductions are part of the effort to align our cost structure with our revenue that was announced last month.”
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported earlier this week that investors are increasingly unsure whether Microsoft’s bid for video game publisher Activision will pass muster with regulators after the UK’s competition watchdog became the latest to challenge the deal.
The deal could harm competition in the UK gaming market and Microsoft will need to offer remedies to receive approval, Britain’s regulator said in provisional filings. The watchdog’s warning comes after the US Federal Trade Commission decided to block the merger in December.