Microsoft To Lay Off Hundreds Of Employees By Closing Its London Skype Office

By Victor Thomson , Sep 19, 2016 03:00 AM EDT

In a move that could leave hundreds of employees without jobs, Microsoft has announced that it is planning to close its Skype office in London.

Microsoft To Close Skype's London Office

Nearly 400 people employed in Microsoft's Skype office in London could be left soon without their jobs. The high-tech giant told the Financial Times that some engineering position will be unified. The company will start a consultation process in order to find ways to help those affected by the redundancies.

According to Tech Crunch, Microsoft's London office has been the primary engineering site and headquarters of Skype before the high-tech giant acquired it. The office that represents a key part of Skype's history also survived the period when the messaging startup company was under the ownership of eBay before it was acquired by Microsost.

The move announced by Microsoft will certainly affect London's tech scene. However, for some former insiders it is not a surprise to see Skype's London office go. This is, in part, because a several executive departures over the last few years have predicted a shift in the power focus at the company.

Microsoft has also performed a lot of product development on Skype messenger post-acquisition. The high-tech giant introduced integration with Office 365 and several features that bring Skype closer in line with Microsoft's Slack messaging app.

It is likely that Microsoft will intend now to continue building Skype from Redmond. This would also help align further Microsoft's strategic vision across its various software products. A Microsoft spokesman announced that the company plans to move its London-based employees to Paddington.

According to Tech Times, this latest move is continuing Microsoft's push with layoffs. The company previously announced that hundreds of employees in Redmond will also lose their jobs.

Last July, the Redmond-based tech company announced its plan to lay off 2,850 employees in the year 2017. Of this total number of layoffs, around 220 employees will lose their jobs once the London Skype office gets shut down.

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