Microsoft has laid off 30 employees who were working on HoloLens, the augmented reality headset, in Israel, with 30 more being relocated within the company, the Israeli news site Ynet reports.
According to Ynet, the 60 jobs come from engineering, meaning they were directly involved in the design and production of the headset.
It’s unclear where the 30 who remain will be relocated. It’s also unclear whether other areas of HoloLens across Microsoft will be affected.
In a statement, the company did not give a reason for the layoffs, describing it as a “shift of jobs across the organisation.”
Those who were contract workers were laid off immediately, with permanent employees given one month to find another job within the company.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the decision in mid-2014 to cut 18,000 jobs, with a further 8,000 in July of this year, many from the $7.2 billion (£4.6 billion) acquisition of Nokia. The company then let 1,000 more employees go in October.
Microsoft provided the following statement to Ynet (which has been translated into English):
We perform ongoing assessments of the needs of our business and recently made decisions that affects the number of jobs in one of our groups. As needed, we are increasing investment in some areas and reduce investments in others. As a result, there is a shift of jobs across the organisation and [this means] sometimes eliminating jobs. Our top priority is about the treatment of workers that will be affected by the decision and supporting them.
HoloLens is a $3,000 (£1,900) augmented reality headset that runs Windows Holographic, a version of the company’s operating system. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has emphasised the importance of the headset numerous times, describing it as a “category creation” device.
Here’s a video of HoloLens in action:
Business Insider has reached out to Microsoft to confirm the layoffs and what they mean for HoloLens.
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