Microsoft has recently shut its Skype’ London office that has put jobs of 400 employees at serious risk.
Financial Times has reported that Microsoft is about to close its Skype office in the UK where the company had been first founded.
Clarifying the act, Microsoft said that the call had been made in order to merge some engineering positions while putting several Skype and Yammer roles at stake. In this regard, a Microsoft’s spokesperson stated that,
“We are deeply committed to doing everything we can to help those impacted through this process. Microsoft will be entering into a consultation process and offer new opportunities, where possible.”
Skype had initiated in London in 2003, and in 2011, Microsoft took over the company for $8.5 billion. Microsoft’s retreat is a big shock for the tech industry in Britain, especially after Brexit.
A former employee at Skype has said that the move had not been surprising for him as Microsoft had already displaced several employees of Skype at the time it took over. Expressing his feelings, he said
“One of the things that was always a big issue for Microsoft was that big decisions at Skype would usually always be made in Europe, not in Redmond. Now, it’s a Redmond, Microsoft-led Company rather than an independent Skype.”
He also said that it’s natural to integrate, but Skype is a shell of the company it once was.
That’s not the first time that Microsoft is doing it. In past, Microsoft had acquired the cell phone division of Nokia and advertising company aQuantive, and both had been crushed later on.
“London is becoming an increasingly important hub for Skype’s business as it grows from East to West,” stated Microsoft. “And as London straddles the world’s time-zones, it’s the best location to keep East and West in touch,” it added.
Now, the statement of Microsoft’s annual report released in August makes some sense. It had reported that Microsoft would make 2850 jobs redundant during the fourth quarter of the running year. Obviously, the process has just begun.
Russ Shaw, the former VP of Skype and current head of Tech London Advocates has said that the move was quite disappointing. He added,
“While London is working hard to build a strong base of world-class technology businesses, this decision is a step in the wrong direction.”
Microsoft’s current call has put many jobs at risk while unifying some engineering positions.