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Microsoft job cuts hit Middle East

Microsoft has laid off 3,000 jobs globally, with a ‘small number’ of cuts in the Gulf region

Microsoft has reduced its global headcount by 3,000, with what the company is calling a ‘small number’ of job losses in the Middle East.

Paula Leech, human resources director at Microsoft Gulf, confirmed that the Middle East was affected and the job cuts were made today, but would not divulge the exact number of employee terminations.

“From a Gulf perspective, it is a small number of employees that are affected and clearly we will talk to any of our partners, or any of our customers, who may see a change in the staff, but really the number is very small,” said Leech.

The move follows on from the 1,400 staff members who were laid off in January, when the Redmond-based giant projected that they would need to cut up to 5,000 jobs.

According to Leech, the Gulf has contributed what it needed too towards the global reduction target up to this point.

“There are no plans for further job cuts at this time, but clearly you know we review our business on an ongoing basis. I am not saying it will never happen but right now we have done what we needed to do at this point,” said Leech.

There were no specific teams at the software major who were targeted, as Leech explains that every division looked across their portfolio and some changes happened, but the eliminations are in a few areas and not just one.

“Its about the role, not the individual, we literally are looking across the business and we are prioritising investments and headcount based on the best opportunities in the current economic environment,” added Leech.

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, sent an email to all employees, which was published on Computerworld explaining that the job cuts may not be over.

“With this announcement, we are mostly but not all done with the planned 5,000 job eliminations by June 2010. We are moving quickly to reach this target in response to consistent feedback from our people and business groups that it's important to make decisions and reduce uncertainty for employees as quickly as possible, and so that organisations can concentrate their efforts and resources on strategic objectives,” wrote Ballmer in the letter.

“As we move forward, we will continue to closely monitor the impact of the economic downturn on the company and if necessary, take further actions on our cost structure including additional job eliminations,” added Ballmer.