Microsoft Announces Another Round of Layoffs Affecting Employees in HoloLens, Surface, and Xbox

Microsoft announced another round of job cuts on Thursday, putting into action the layoffs of 10,000 workers that were announced last month. According to sources in the knowledge, the tech giant plans to lay off an additional 617 workers in departments such as Surface products, HoloLens mixed reality hardware, and Xbox.

People familiar with the matter said layoffs in the HoloLens hardware team cast doubt on whether the business would manufacture a third version of the goggles beyond the one intended for the US Army. One of the persons indicated that cuts were made in marketing and the Xbox Gaming Ecosystem Group within the gaming division of Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Xbox boss Phil Spencer wrote staff on Thursday to announce the news of layoffs, but he did not specify which divisions would be affected. Spencer wrote in an email reviewed by Bloomberg, “I encourage everyone to take the time and space necessary to process these changes and support your colleagues.”

In a statement released last month, Microsoft revealed its plan to lay off about 5% of its workforce, or 10,000 people, during the current quarter. The layoffs accounted for $800 million of the US$1.2 billion charge against earnings in the previous quarter, while the remaining US$400 million was attributable to “changes to our hardware portfolio” and the expense of consolidating real estate leases.

The layoffs are anticipated to start in April.