IT firms begin downsizing

By agencies   |   Monday, 12 June 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: The season of lay-offs seems to be reappearing with IT multinationals like Intel, Sun Microsystems and Apple Computers making announcements of axing-off their headcount, all at a time when an imminent recession is looming large in the U.S.

Relating the lay-offs to restructuring the global operations to reduce costs, this global activity of multinationals has sent vibrations of concern among the workforce in the Indian operations, raising concerns of job-security again among the tech-circles.

Intel has announced plans of downsizing its workforce by 16,000 after initiating a study on ‘efficiency program’ to determine dispensable positions across its centers. The spokesperson for Intel India said that targeting under performing business and the decision to begin lay-offs would be taken post-July. This restructuring is expected to reduce its forecasted expenses by $1 billion worldwide. Intel India has a workforce of 3000 employees across 10 locations in the country.

On May 31, Sun Microsystems announced a downsizing of 5000 jobs worldwide. Implementing “disinvestments in non-core processes and research and development activities” over the next 6 months, Sun will reduce its 37,500 employees worldwide, with about 1000 of the workforce based in India, by 11-13 percent, stated a release. The job-cuts are expected to be restricted to engineering divisions. Marketing or sales positions would not be affected.

Apple Computers’ recent announcement to shut down its technical support in India, months after its establishment here, delivered a hard blow to the employees. Apple, which began with a team of 30, had announced it would revamp up to 3000 by the end of the year. However, the decision reversed and affected Bangalore. Steve Downling, Corporate Media Relations, Apple computers revealed, “We have re-evaluated our plans and have decided to put our planned support center growth in other countries.” Apple’s sales and marketing division in Bangalore has strength of 25 employees.

Seagate Technology also joined the bandwagon, announcing a cut of 6000 jobs, soon after acquiring Maxtor Corp. The hard disk manufacturer stated that about 50 percent of Maxtor’s workforce would be rested. Employees in Europe and U.S. would sense the effect of the downsizing, it was noted.

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