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Microsoft to shut Skype's London office, report claims


By Cameron Clarke, Editor

September 17, 2016 | 2 min read

Microsoft is to shut down the London office of its communications service Skype, it has been reported today.

According to the Financial Times, the closure of one of Britain's prized tech offices will result in "most" of its 400 staff being made redundant.

Microsoft said it had "made the decision to unify some engineering positions, potentially putting at risk a number of globally focused Skype and Yammer roles".

It added that it was "deeply committed to doing everything we can to help those impacted" and said it would be entering a consultation process and offering "new opportunities, where possible".

Startup Skype was founded in London in 2003 before being acquired by Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5bn. Its retreat from the capital comes as a blow to Britain's tech industry as it fights to make the case that it is still open for business after Brexit.

"While London is working hard to build a strong base of world-class technology businesses, this decision is a step in the wrong direction," Russ Shaw, the former vice-president of Skype EMEA who now heads Tech London Adocates, told the FT.

Shaw is among the current and former Skype staff to share their reaction to the news on Twitter.

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