Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that it is removing 18,000 employees from its workforce, with 12,500 – more than two-thirds – of the job cuts made up of former Nokia staff, who had joined Microsoft as part of its acquisition of the Finnish company’s devices business this year.
Up to 1,100 jobs will go in Finland, which has led to some discontent in the country’s government about the layoffs, as well as concern over the future of those soon to be without a job. “Microsoft’s intention to reduce jobs also in Finland is the bad news we feared,” Labour Minister Lauri Ihalainen told Bloomberg. “The least that can now be expected is that it creates a credible support package to those it lets go, similar to what was done with those let go from Nokia [during earlier pre-acquisition cuts].”
Finnish Finance Minister Antti Rinne told newspaper Helsingin Sanomat: “I’m a little disappointed in Microsoft, which said at the time of the Nokia deal that it’s committed to Finland. This isn’t commitment.”
Rinne added that “Microsoft must fulfil the promise of building a data center in Finland,” referring to an assurance made by the company in September that it will invest around €250m in a new facility in the country. Microsoft has said that the new data center will open in August.
In a statement, Microsoft reiterated its commitment to Finland, saying that the country will remain a ‘key focus area in the future’, and adding that it will do what it can to help those made redundant in its recent restructuring. “As a responsible company, we strive to do our best to ensure that employees affected by the potential cuts are offered a variety of support measures and advice, including in finding new work,” it said.