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Biggest tech industry layoffs of 2015, so far

Bob Brown, IDG News Service staff | July 23, 2015
Microsoft, BlackBerry, NetApp among those trimming workforces

*Microsoft: In scaling down its mobile phone activities, Microsoft is writing off the whole value of the former Nokia smartphone business it bought last year and laying off up to 7,800 people from that unit. Microsoft also announced 18,000 job cuts last year, including many from the Nokia buyout. Despite an apparent departure from the phone business, CEO Satya Nadella said Microsoft remains committed to Windows Phone products and working with partners.

*BlackBerry: The beleaguered smartphone maker acknowledged in May it was cutting an unspecified number of staff in its devices unit in an effort to return to profitability and focus in new areas, such as the Internet of Things (it did eke out a quarterly profit earlier this year, though is still on pace to register a loss for the year). The Waterloo, Ontario outfit said in a statement that it had decided to unite its device software, hardware and applications business, "impacting a number of employees around the world." Then in July BlackBerry again said it was making job cuts, and again didn't specify the number.

*Qualcomm: The wireless chipmaker is the latest whose name is attached to layoff speculation, and official word on this could come as soon as this week, given the company is announcing its quarterly results. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that "deep cost cuts" could be in the offing, including thousands of layoffs, possibly equaling 10% of the staff. The company was commenting ahead of its earnings conference call on July 22. Qualcomm has been a high flyer in recent years as a result of the smartphone boom, but regulatory issues in China, market share gains by Apple and being snubbed by Samsung in its latest flagship phone have all hurt Qualcomm of late, the Union-Tribune reports.

*Lexmark: The printer and printer services company this month announced plans for 500 layoffs as part of a restructuring related to a couple of recent acquisitions. The $3.7 billion Kentucky-based company employs more than 12,000 people worldwide.


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