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Microsoft to shutter UK Skype branch, 400 jobs at risk

VOIP firm and Microsoft subsidiary, Skype, is set to close its doors in the UK. Not the service itself of course, but the British office will soon be shuttered for good. This will put some 400 jobs at the London based headquarters at risk, with most likely to be dissolved.

Coming at just about the worst time for anyone concerned about the British technology industry following the Brexit vote earlier this year, Skype represents one of the top 50 tech firms in the UK. Microsoft’s reasoning however was more global, claiming that it was looking to consolidate some of its international engineering positions, which would make the UK office rather redundant.

“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,” the company said in a statement, as the news of the potential 400 job losses came to light.

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Source: C_osset/Flickr

The Guardian pulled quotes from ex-employees at Skype, who claimed that this move was unsurprising. They said that the original developers who joined Microsoft when it purchased the VOIP firm in 2008 have almost all gone and that Microsoft had been gradually replacing everyone from the early days for years now.

This was just the latest instance we’re told. Original vice president at Skype Russ Shaw, called the move disappointing, especially considering the timing in relation to British industry confidence following the EU vote.

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KitGuru Says: It will be interesting to see if this changes Skype’s relative autonomy in the near future. As it stands it has an independent HQ, but if that is rolled into Microsoft’s headquarters that could change things.

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