BUSINESS

Microsoft Is Slashing 7,800 Jobs As Phone Unit Struggles

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 29: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers a keynote during the 2015 Microsoft Build Conference on Ap
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 29: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers a keynote during the 2015 Microsoft Build Conference on April 29, 2015 at Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. Thousands are expected to attend the annual developer conference which runs through May 1. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

Microsoft on Wednesday announced plans to slash another 7,800 jobs, mostly from its phone division. The move will be particularly hard on one Finnish town.

The layoffs add to the 18,000 workers that Microsoft said it planned to pink-slip a year ago, according to The New York Times, which first reported on the job cuts.

The move marks yet another example of CEO Satya Nadella’s growing imprint on the company, which has struggled to best rivals Apple and Google in the smartphone business.

“We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem,” Nadella wrote in a memo to employees. “In the near-term, we’ll run a more effective and focused phone portfolio while retaining capability for long-term reinvention in mobility.”

The company’s phone venture has been haunted by former CEO Steve Ballmer’s infamous 2007 remark suggesting the iPhone would fail. That mindset led to Microsoft’s late entry into the swelling smartphone market.

Microsoft attempted to remedy that by buying Finnish handset maker Nokia's smartphone business for $9 billion in 2013. Yet, the acquisition did not pan out. Last month, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop left Microsoft in a surprise departure. Under his stewardship, Microsoft’s phone division lost money, and its market share dropped to 3 percent. To boot, thousands of Nokia employees were among the 18,000 laid off last year.

About 2,300 of the fresh cuts will hit Microsoft's workers in Finland, according to a tweet from the country's finance minister, Alexander Stubb.

The new job cuts will be devastating in the town of Salo, where Nokia has a large development plant, according to a tweet from Pekka Pekkala, a spokesman for the country's prime minister.

This could be a further sign of the end times for Windows Phone, which has already been declared dead many times over.

salo finland
Here's the nighttime skyline of Salo, Finland.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story indicated that Salo was the hometown of Nokia.

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