Microsoft is planning to close down Skype’s headquarter/founding office in London, affecting the jobs of more than 400 of its employees, reports Financial Times. It plans to terminate most of the redundant personnel in a move to unify its global engineering resources. This is also a huge blow to the British tech industry who’s been suffering since the exit of Britain from the EU.
The reports of closure of the headquarter have been confirmed by Microsoft, and a spokesperson has given an added explanation stating,
[Microsoft] made the decision to unify some engineering positions, potentially putting at risk a number of globally focused Skype and Yammer roles.
We are deeply committed to doing everything we can to help those impacted through the process.
The Redmond giant will now be entering into a ‘consultation process’ to help Skype’s London employees affected by the redundant termination. As previously seen among tech giant, Microsoft can help the employees by providing them with an opportunity to work on projects as an in-house entreprenuer.
The online messaging and video service, Skype was originally founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström, from Sweden, and Janus Friis, from Denmark. Skype setup a team in its offices in London, and was later acquired by big brother Microsoft for a whopping $8.5 billion in 2011. Post acquisition, the core engineering team continued to work from the UK headquarters — until recently.
Commenting on the Microsoft’s decision to dilute the Skype headquarters, an anonymous former employee said,
I know it’s natural to integrate, but Skype is a shell of the company it once was. One of the things that was always a big issue for Microsoft was that big decisions at Skype would usually always be made in Europe, not in Redmond. Now, it’s a Redmond, Microsoft-led company rather than an independent Skype.
Just last month, Microsoft had quietly talked about its plans of cutting off a total of 2,850 jobs worldwide, and that too by the end of the current fiscal year, 2017. Reports now suggest that the aforementioned 400 personnel lay-offs from the Skype London office will be a part of this humongous number.
In addition to Microsoft, other tech giant have recently also been cutting off ties with a large chunk of their employees, in the name of streamlining, optimizing their resources and operations. Cisco and Flipkart have each got rid of over 7,000 and 1,000 underperforming employees in the past couple of months.