Microsoft to cut 60 Irish jobs, but creates 40 new ones

5 May 2009

Just months after the company cut 20 positions at its Irish operations, Microsoft Ireland said today it is to cut an additional 60 jobs at the end of a 30-day consultation that begins this week. However, it added that 40 new jobs will be created in a separate investment.

The company said the action to reduce jobs was in response to the global economic downturn.

Microsoft in recent weeks suffered a major psychological blow in the form of its first decline in profits in its entire history. In its recent Q3 results, Microsoft reported a 32pc decline in net income and a 6pc fall in revenues of US$13.65bn.

“As part of the plan we announced in January to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, today we are eliminating additional positions across several areas of the company,” Microsoft Ireland said in a statement.

“While job eliminations are always difficult, we are taking these necessary actions in response to the global economic downturn. These changes are a result of our need to improve efficiency and rebalance resources against our priorities.”

The company said that a 30-day consultation process will commence in the coming days, with a view to securing a total reduction of 60 roles.

It is proposed that as many of these reductions will be achieved through a voluntary programme.

“We will work closely with all employees impacted to support them through the difficult period ahead,” the company said.

Microsoft explained that the local operation is continuing to compete for internal investment, and that as well as the construction of a US$500m data centre in west Dublin, some 40 high-value roles will be created in Ireland in the coming year.

“We will continue to evaluate our business to ensure that our investments are aligned to current and future revenue opportunities,” it said.

“As part of this ongoing process, a decision has been made to locate 40 new high-value roles in Microsoft’s Irish-based operations. These roles will support the EMEA operations and distribution business managed by our European Operations Centre based at our Sandyford campus.

“The investment in the new roles builds on the decision to locate our European data centre here – a €500m investment in the first phase.

“This additional investment in our Irish operations underscores the continued commitment by Microsoft to Ireland. We have a long history of investment and innovation in Ireland, which has seen the campus grow and evolve over the past 25 years,” the company said.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years