Most notable IT layoffs of 2009

A look at this year's job cutbacks at top technology companies

Most notable IT layoffs of 2009

As the current economic crisis continues to unfold, Network World is keeping a eye on the industry's financial fluctuations. As more companies make cutbacks, we will keep updating this slideshow with the latest news. For a review of last year's top layoffs, click here .

Adobe laying off 680

Adobe Systems said in November it will lay off 680 staff, or 9% of its workforce, in its latest move to cut costs. The job cuts will be made worldwide and are designed to bring Adobe's costs in line with its 2010 budget and "the realities of the business environment," the company said. Its business has continued to lag this year, even as its stock price rose along with the broader market.

Related story: Adobe laying off 680 staff to cut costs

Sprint Nextel  lay off as many as 2,500

Sprint Nextel said in November that it expects to lay off as many as 2,500 people by year's end, on the heels of reporting that it lost 545,000 customers in its third quarter. The operator could let go as few as 2,000 people and expects to cut labor costs by $350 million a year through the action. In the short term, the cuts will cost $60 million to $80 million in the fourth quarter, related to severance and other costs associated with the layoffs, Sprint said.

Microsoft lays off 800 more

Microsoft said in November it is laying off another 800 people, adding to the 5,000 the company has already let go this year. The affected people are based around the world and work in various groups, Microsoft said. The layoffs are part of the plan that Microsoft announced in January to let go of 5,000 people, although this action adds to that original number. "In the ensuing 11 months from January until now, we realized we had to move a little beyond the 5,000, so that put us at about 5,800," said Lou Gellos, a spokesman for Microsoft. While Microsoft initially said that it would complete the layoff program by June 2010, this round of layoffs finishes the plan, he said. The most recent cuts follow an earnings report that included a 14% drop in revenue.

Extreme lays off 70

Extreme Networks is replacing its CEO Mark Canepa and laying off 70 employees , about 9% of its workforce in order to get a grip on expenses and bring the company quickly back to the break-even point. As part of the restructuring, the company also eliminated the job of chief counsel, getting rid of Robert Schlossman, and replacing him with Vice Presideint Diane Honda. Judging from the company Web site, the head of human resources and head software developer are also gone.

Sun to layoff workers

Sun said it will lay off as many as 3,000 employees over the next year because of poor financial performance at least partly caused by delays in the Oracle acquisition of Sun. Oracle is still waiting for approval from European regulators to go ahead with the purchase. In a filing with U.S. regulators, Sun said it was making the job cuts "in light of the delay in closing the acquisition." It said the move will "better align the company's resources with its strategic business objectives." Sun already announced plans last November to axe between 5,000 and 6,000 jobs to improve its financial position. The newly announced job cuts appear to be in addition to those.

Polycom layoffs

Polycom is laying off 3% of its staff, which comes to about 75 people, most of whom will be let go immediately. The latest reduction follows on the layoffs of 150 other staffers in January. The latest round will cost between $5 million and $6 million in severance pay and other termination benefits. In the company's latest quarterly filing, it noted that for the first six months of 2009, revenues are down $74.4 million from the same period last year. Polycom is focusing on HD videoconferencing and telepresence gear that it believes businesses will buy into as a way to save on travel costs and boost productivity through increased collaboration.

Sonus Networks

IP communications company Sonus Networks cut 93 people, or about 10% of its workforce, in August as part of a broader restructuring. The Westford, Mass., company expects restructuring charges on a pre-tax basis to total $1.4 million to $1.9 million in the third quarter. The move should wind up saving the company up to $10.3 million in annual compensation-related savings. "This is the final phase of the restructuring initiative we began at the end of last year with the goal of re-aligning our business to market needs and opportunities," said Richard Nottenburg, president and CEO, in a statement. More info.

Cisco layoffs

Cisco said earlier this year it would likely chop 1,500 to 2,000 from its workforce in fiscal 2009. Seven hundred of those positions were eliminated in July alone, most or all from its San Jose headquarters.

Related story: Cisco lays off hundreds in San Jose

Nokia cutting 1,700 more jobs worldwide

In mid-March, Nokia announced it will cut 1,700 more jobs worldwide, mainly in sales and marketing, but some cutbacks in the R&D unit of its Devices group. That's only a small fraction of its 128,000 total employees. But it's the latest in the company's cost-cutting efforts to cope with plunging global handset sales. Previously , Nokia announced it would chop its dividend; then in January, it said it would cut yearly costs by just over $900 million for its devices and services groups by the end of 2010; and in February, it began offering resignation packages to employees and encouraging them to take unpaid leave

Related story: Nokia plans another 1,700 layoffs worldwide

Citrix slashing head count

The application delivery and virtualization vendor said in January that it will reduce its global headcount by 10%, or about 460 jobs. While Citrix's annual revenue in 2008 grew 14%, net income per share dropped from $1.14 in 2007 to $0.96 in 2008. Citrix CEO Mark Templeton claimed to be pleased with the results, "especially in the face of an extraordinary worldwide environment." With global IT spending expected to decline, the company predicted its net revenue to drop 5% in the first quarter of 2009.

Related story: Citrix slashing head count

IBM lays off 4,200, union says

IBM reportedly laid off several thousand employees in January. IBM itself has not confirmed any job cuts but according to union officials 4,200 employees have been laid off. The reported cuts include 2,800 in IBM's software group and sales and distribution operations, 1,200 in IBM's Systems Technology Group, and 200 in the research division.

Related story: Union says IBM layoffs now 4,200, may go higher

Sprint to ax 8,000 jobs

Sprint said in Janaury that it plans to lay off 8,000 employees in a move that the company says will save it $1.2 billion annually

The company says that it plans to finish the layoffs by the end of March and that just over 10% of all layoffs will occur through a voluntary separation plan that the company started last year. Although Sprint isn't specifying which positions will be slashed, the company does say that the layoffs will "impact all levels of the company" and that the "impact on geographic locations will vary." The past year has not been kind to Sprint, as the carrier has lost an average of more than one million wireless customers per quarter. Read more .

Intel to shut four plants, lay off 6,000

Intel in January announced it was cutting prices on some high-end chips by as much as 40% in order to stimulate demand, closing 4 chip plants and slashing up to 6,000 jobs. Analysts laid the blame for Intel's actions on weak PC sales combined with tight-fisted consumers choosing low-cost models such as netbooks. They also said impressive new CPUs from rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. were a factor, according to a Computerworld story. Read more .

01.22 Microsoft to cut 5,000 as income falls

Microsoft also said it will cut up to 5,000 jobs in research and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal, human resources and IT over the next 18 months. The first 1,400 jobs were scheduled for Thursday, January 22. Microsoft projected that the job cuts will trim its annual operating expense run rate by $1.5 billion and reduce its fiscal 2009 capital expenditures by $700 million. Read more .

Sophos cutting up to 5% of staff

Security vendor Sophos plans to lay off up to 5% of its staff in January. Engineering and product development staff will not be affected, with the 75 jobs to be cut all in sales and marketing, said spokesman Graham Cluley. The changes are intended to make those departments more efficient, and are not related to world economic conditions, he said. Sophos will try to move affected employees into other positions within the company, he said. The company employs about 1,500 people worldwide. Read more .

Ericsson profit declines, plans to cut 5,000 jobs

Swedish operator Ericsson saw declining profits for its fourth quarter and will lay off 5,000 employees in a continuing effort to cut costs, the company said in January. The company plans to achieve annual savings of $1.2 billion from the second half of next year through the job cuts. Ericsson has to be prepared for tougher times and do everything it can to defend its current market position, according to CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg. Ericsson warned that it's difficult to predict to what extent consumer spending on telecom services will be affected in the future. Ericsson said its core infrastructure business has hardly been hit by the recession so far, but the company did see declining profits. Read more .

Mouse-maker Logitech to cut 525 salaried employees

Just a month after shipping its billionth mouse, Logitech said in January it will cut 15% of its salaried employees as it expects weaker consumer demand for computer peripherals. The company has 9,000 employees, including manufacturing workers in China, with 3,500 of those on salary, according to a spokeswoman. The layoffs mean 525 workers will be laid off by the end of March.

Those expected to lose their jobs include managers and product developers, although the spokeswoman would not say how the layoffs will affect Logitech's product offerings. Manufacturing workers will not be reduced as of yet, she said. Read more .

Motorola announces 4,000 more layoffs

Motorola said in January it plans to lay off another 4,000 employees, mostly from its Mobile Device business, and to report revenue for the fourth quarter of 2008 that would fall short of analysts' current estimates.

The workforce cuts at the troubled handset, networking and enterprise wireless company will come in addition to the 3,000 layoffs announced during last year's final quarter. Motorola, once the world's second-largest cell-phone maker, has been struggling since its Razr handset faded from popularity. Read more .

Lenovo to lay off 2,500 staff, cut management pay

Amid growing fears that many countries face a long and painful economic recession, Lenovo said in January it plans to lay off 2,500 workers, cut the salaries of its executives and restructure its Asian operations in an attempt to weather the downturn.
Lenovo will take a $150 million restructuring charge, the majority of which will be taken during the current quarter, as a result of these changes. Looking ahead, the company hopes to save $300 million during its upcoming 2009/2010 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2010.

The layoffs, described as part of a "resource redeployment plan," represent 11% of Lenovo's global workforce, and the employees will be let go during the first quarter of 2009, the company said. It did not say where the layoffs will take place or whether they would be spread evenly across all of the regions where the company operates. Read more .

EMC lays off 2,400

The storage vendor said in January that it will lay off 2,400 people, about 7% of its information infrastructure division, as part of a restructuring announced despite EMC projections that Q4 2008 revenue will reach $4 billion, up 4% from the previous year. EMC is consolidating back-office functions and offices, reducing management layers, decreasing spending on contractors and travel, and shifting investments to high growth products and markets. The layoffs do not affect VMware, the highly successful virtualization company owned by EMC. Read more .

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.