Layoffs are never an easy ordeal. Even the biggest companies have to take into account a number of factors, prime among them employee morale. This aspect alone can derail momentum.

And it goes without saying Microsoft stunned everyone yesterday by announcing that 18,000 jobs would be cut over the next 12 months as part of the reorganization after the acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services unit.

Expectedly, the news came as a surprise to everyone, company employees in particular.

This report has one such employee saying that the workforce was shell shocked to hear that Nadella was firing so many people, pointing out that the CEO should announce the names of those affected right now, not six months down the line:

“The feeling inside Microsoft on main campus is a bit shell-shocked at the size of the planned cuts. The next six months will be a drain on morale. Cut now! Get the surgery over with and move on.”

Interesting thing is that the middle managers at Microsoft knew about these job cutting plans for a while now, and they were among the most worried. Many even updated their LinkedIn profiles with new information and photos.

Having said that, everyone was aware that a major layoff was coming — it was just the intensity and magnitude that surprised everyone.

After all, one in every seven person is affected by this, and this has obviously caused tension within the company. Part and parcel of the game, some would say, but disconcerting, nevertheless.

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  • Mike Greenway

    I don’t think you’re giving most Microsoft employees enough respect. As of late, can you think of on multi-billion dollar acquisition that wasn’t followed by major layoffs? (google/Motorola for example)

    • WillyThePooh

      The layoff is well expected after the acquisition. Mostly affected will be the former Nokia employees.

  • Wayne S

    I don’t think they should be shocked. Everyone saw some layoffs coming after officially acquiring Nokia. I guess they were surprised by how many, but I don’t think any of them should really be that “shocked.”