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Why Cutting 18,000 Jobs Was Likely Microsoft's Plan All Along

•, Issie Lapowsky

On Thursday morning, with an email euphemistically titled "Starting to Evolve Our Organization and Culture," CEO Satya Nadella announced that the bulk of the cuts would affect employees working for Nokia, the mobile phone company Microsoft acquired last September. According to Nadella, these cuts would encourage "work simplification," "integration synergies," and "strategic alignment." But even the heavy-handed business jargon couldn't mask the simple fact that 18,000 jobs is a hell of a lot of jobs to lose.

And yet, tragic as these deep cuts will be for Microsoft employees and their families, it may be premature to assume this massive round of layoffs means Microsoft is in dire trouble. In fact, tough as the decision may have been, it might be the best thing for the company in the long term. "I find myself saddened and disturbed at the news, but there are definitely legitimate business cases to do it," says J.P. Gownder, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

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