Microsoft lays off 1,900 employees, following Activision acquisition

Microsoft lays off 1,900 employees, about 9% of gaming unit, following Activision acquisition

Microsoft is cutting nearly 2,000 jobs in its gaming unit, or about 9% of gaming-related staff.


The layoffs come three months after the tech giant completed its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the company’s largest acquisition ever. They impacted employees working across Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax, and Xbox teams.

“As we move forward in 2024, the leadership of Microsoft Gaming and Activision Blizzard is committed to aligning on a strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure that will support the whole of our growing business,” Microsoft Gaming chief Phil Spencer wrote in a memo to employees, obtained by The Verge. “Together, we’ve set priorities, identified areas of overlap, and ensured that we’re all aligned on the best opportunities for growth.”

Mike Ybarra, president of Blizzard and a former longtime Xbox leader, announced he is departing. Allen Adham, Blizzard chief design officer, is also leaving, according to The Verge.

Companies across the tech industry continue to trim headcount following last year, when more than 260,000 employees lost their jobs, according to Amazon, eBay, SAP, and others have laid off staff this month. Gaming companies including Riot Games, Unity, Discord, and Twitch also announced layoffs in January.

After a period of steady headcount growth, Microsoft shed more than 16,000 jobs in the first nine months of 2023, according to GeekWire calculations — significantly exceeding the 10,000 job cuts announced by the company in January 2023.

Microsoft announces quarterly earnings next week on Jan. 30.

Credits: - Taylor Soper

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