LinkedIn to Cut 960, or 6%, of Jobs as Virus Slows Hiring

LinkedIn, the professional-networking platform, is making a 6% job cut, saying it "is not immune to the effects of the global pandemic."

Microsoft's  (MSFT) - Get Report LinkedIn said Tuesday that it would cut 960, or about 6%, of its jobs as the professional-networking site itself contends with layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Microsoft is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday. Shares of the Redmond, Wash., software giant at last check were off 0.4% to $210.77.

LinkedIn Chief Executive Ryan Roslansky said in a message to employees that the site "is not immune to the effects of the global pandemic."

"Our Talent Solutions business continues to be impacted as fewer companies, including ours, need to hire at the same volume they did previously," Roslansky said.

The company will cut 960 jobs across its global sales and talent acquisition organizations. Roslansky said these are the only layoffs the company plans. 

In addition, Roslansky said LinkedIn would consolidate some parts of LinkedIn Talent Solutions with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. 

To serve small-business customers, LinkedIn is also switching from a field sales team to an online system.

LinkedIn said it would provide a minimum of 10 weeks of severance pay. And in the U.S., the company said it would pay for 12 months of continuing health insurance through the Cobra system. 

In February, former CEO Jeff Weiner said he was stepping down as head of the company effective June 1. Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for $28 billion in 2016, its largest-ever acquisition.

Microsoft said in its fiscal 2019 report that LinkedIn has accumulated more than 645 million members, and accounted for $6.7 billion in revenue, representing roughly 5.4% of its overall revenue. 

In April's quarterly report, however Microsoft said that in the final weeks of the quarter, advertising spending on LinkedIn declined.