Microsoft Won’t Close Its South Korean R&D Division

The company says that only a few workers will be relocated

Yesterday we learned that Microsoft planned to shut down its South Korean R&D division and focus solely on the Beijing unit, with most employees to be moved to other locations.

While some of the workers have received calls to move to Redmond, others have been asked to work in other departments, the sources suggested.

Microsoft says this isn’t the case and it won’t shut down the R&D unit completely, reports.

“The phrase R&D has been misinterpreted and Microsoft’s R&D is not moving from South Korea. Last month, after evaluations that the company regularly does, Microsoft made adjustments to its Office workforce in South Korea,” a Microsoft spokesperson was quoted as saying

“With work completed in a particular product area, some roles have been redeployed to Office in their Redmond headquarters, consolidating with the Office team there. Some roles moved to other areas within Microsoft. Some employees chose to accept severance packages and leave the company. None of this, however, involved positions in R&D or Microsoft Research or China.”

Citing an industry source, AsiaOne reports that Microsoft wants to bring its R&D efforts down to only six locations, namely Redmond, Beijing, Cambridge, Bangalore, Silicon Valley and New England.

As a result, the South Korean facility won’t make much sense, so this could actually be one of the reasons why Microsoft decided to relocate some of its employees.

“The decision also shows that Microsoft's US headquarters came to a conclusion that it will be better to set up the R&D control tower in China for the Asia region rather than in Korea, which is a comparatively smaller market,” a source familiar with the matter told AsiaOne.

Out of the 21 employees in Seoul, 10 have already been asked to move to the Redmond headquarters, while the other 11 are reportedly expected to be transferred to a different department.

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