Microsoft plans to lay off 124 workers just outside of Portland, shuttering a high-tech manufacturing facility the company acquired in 2012. The cuts are part of the "thousands" of layoffs that Microsoft said last week would take place this fiscal year, job reductions the company said would fall primarily in sales roles, and overseas.
The closure of the Wilsonville, Oregon, facility, which was producing Microsoft's massive and cutting-edge Surface Hub digital whiteboard, falls closer to home.
The people being laid off include hardware, mechanical and electrical engineers, designers, researchers and manufacturing-line operators, according to a letter Microsoft sent to state regulators this week.
In the letter, Microsoft said the cuts will take place in two rounds.
Sixty-one people will lose their jobs Sept. 8. The remaining 63 will be dismissed after Nov. 6. A small number of employees may be asked to stay on for a short period afterward to close the operation.
Microsoft acquired the facility, with 70,000 square feet of factory space on a 4-acre lot, in its 2012 purchase of Perceptive Pixel, a New York-based company that specialized in large, multitouch displays.
Under Microsoft, the Wilsonville facility produced the Surface Hub, massive touch-screen devices that Microsoft pitched as meeting-room hubs.
News articles at the time highlighted the program as a rare example of a big technology company opting to manufacture products in the U.S.
Shipment of the devices, originally scheduled for late 2015, was delayed by six months, and the retail prices of the two Surface Hub models were raised by $2,000, to $8,999 for the 55-inch model and to $21,999 for the 84-inch version.
In a statement, Microsoft said it remained committed to the Surface Hub but was consolidating its Surface manufacturing footprint.
Future development of the device will take place in Redmond. A spokeswoman didn't say where Surface Hubs would be manufactured.
The rest of the devices that bear Microsoft's Surface brand are made in China.
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