Microsoft is understood to be considering cutting around 10% of its global workforce in response to profit falls across the business. The move could affect the company’s 3,000 employees in the UK.
It has been reported in the US that between 10% and 17% of its 9,000 global workforce could be cut. It is hoped that the move would save the software giant $1.2bn (£826m) a year. It is not clear if marketing will be affected by the cuts.
At the end of last year, Microsoft reported an 11% drop in profits to $4.39bn (£3bn) over the three months to 31 December from $4.93bn (£3.4bn) a year earlier. Sales were stable at $14.5bn (£10bn).
Microsoft has admitted that its online advertising growth has dropped sharply as a result of the recession across its troubled MSN internet business.
It is thought that the overseas divisions could be particularly hard hit, and an announcement of the plan could come within two weeks. It is will be the first time that the company has been forced to make large-scale redundancies and it could affect up to 15,000 worldwide.
A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment on the speculation.