Microsoft seems to be close to firing almost everyone it hired as part of the acquisition of Nokia in 2013. The company announced that it will lay off another 2,850 employees by the end of the year, in a recent SEC filing, after announcing multiple layoffs from this division over the past two years.
Back in 2013, Microsoft announced that it would acquire Nokia’s smartphone division for $7.2 billion, after a two year-long partnership between the two companies in which Nokia had to sell Windows smartphones exclusively.
However, Microsoft’s Windows Phone market share never reached more than a few percentage points globally, which means Nokia was also limited by the Microsoft operating system’s success due to the exclusivity deal. After the Nokia division acquisition completed in 2014, Microsoft announced that it would lay off 18,000 employees from the same division, in an effort to reduce redundancy.
After another year, in 2015, Microsoft announced that it would completely write off the Nokia acquisition (which totaled $7.6 billion by then). Microsoft would also lay off 7,800 employees, mostly from the Nokia division. That signaled that the company’s smartphone hardware division failed, so it didn’t make anymore sense to put more money into it.
Since then, Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, seems to have downplayed Windows 10 Mobile’s potential. He also recently announced that the company is downgrading its Windows 10 user base goal of 1 billion installs by 2018, because the Windows 10 Mobile platform isn’t growing as fast as he thought it would.
Earlier this year, Microsoft let go of another 1,850 employees, also from the smartphone division. Now, the company announced that another 2,850 employees would be laid off from that division. Since the acquisition, Microsoft seems to have fired over 30,000 employees from Nokia’s former smartphone division, or about a quarter of Microsoft's total number of employees (currently at 114,000).