Microsoft To Close Skype’s London Offices And Cut 220 Jobs

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Microsoft is planning to shut down its Skype London offices and will make some of its 400 employees redundant

Microsoft is planning to shut down its Skype London offices and will make some of its 400 employees redundant.

According to the Financial Times, Microsoft has said the closure and redundancies are due to “the decision to unify some engineering positions, potentially putting at risk a number of globally focused Skype and Yammer roles”.

As a result of this move, some 220 jobs will be eliminated, which indicated Microsoft is continuing to push ahead with the 2,850 jobs it revealed it would be carrying out across the company during its 2017 fiscal year.

Company consolidation

Skype DesktopThe BBC reported that Microsoft will move the remaining Skype employees to consolidated offices in London’s Paddington area as a means to unify engineering positions across Skype and Yammer, though there is no fixed date on when the main Skype offices will close.

Despite being an Estonian firm before Microsoft bought it for $8.5 billion in 2011 (its previous owners include eBay), Skype was founded in London and has been based in the capital ever since.

The move will mark a the end of an era for a company that has found resounding success in both the consumer and business markets.

With the UK set to leave the European Union once Article 50 is invoked, the closure of a dedicated Skype office could demonstrate concerns for tech giant over how suitable Britain will be as a good base for global companies if it closes its borders to Europe.

However, the move is more likely a move by Microsoft to consolidate some of its disparate company divisions, as it has under Satya Nadella’s leadership moved various parts of is software business closer together in both terms of integration, cloud platforms and technical teams.

A former employee of Skype Dan Wellman, noted that there have been changes to Skype ever since Microsoft took it over.

“I found it unusual as well that while I was employed there, over a very short time span, any manager that was originally a Skype manager was replaced by a Microsoft manager. And I mean every single manager with a connection to the original company either left or was replaced. Maybe that’s normal after an acquisition, I don’t know – I’m a developer, not an executive,” he wrote on Quora.

Skype still remains a big part of Microsoft’s business, with it re-branding Lync to Skype for Business, and more recently launching five new chat bots for the communication service.

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