Most notable IT layoffs of 2008

A look at this year's job cutbacks at Cisco, HP, Dell, Sun and other top technology companies

  • Texas Instruments in October reported that its third quarter earnings fell 26 percent. In an attempt to right itself financially, the company said it will cut its work force by 650 people in six countries from a business unit that makes mobile phone chips and is suffering amidst slowing mobile phone sales.

  • Siemens in late February said it would axe 3,800 jobs at its Siemens Enterprise Communications subsidiary, with 2,000 of those in Germany, as part of an ongoing plan to transform that division from a telecommunication equipment unit into a telecommunications software provider.

  • Hit by the global economic slowdown, Adobe Systems said in December that it would cut 600 jobs as it also lowered its revenue expectations for the fourth quarter. The job cuts will be made worldwide and account for about 8 percent of Adobe's total workforce, which stood at 7,623 at the end of September. The economic slowdown led to slower-than-expected sales of Adobe's new Creative Suite 4 software, which includes products like Photoshop and Dreamweaver and went on sale during the fourth quarter in North America and Europe, the company said.

  • AT&T will lay off 12,000 workers through 2009 as the company reorganises and faces a tough economic environment.

  • Sun in November said it would be laying off 15 to 18 percent of its employees as part of a restructuring plan aimed at saving US$700 million to US$800 million a year. The cuts amount to 5,000 to 6,000 people. The company also said its top software executive, Rich Green, was leaving as Sun reorganizes its software business -- "a recognition of the comprehensive role software plays in the company's growth strategy."

  • The 2007 fourth quarter also proved rugged for Nortel, which announced a day after the Siemens news that it would cut 2,100 jobs and move 1,000 positions to "higher growth and lower-cost geographies."

  • In April, Dell reaffirmed plans announced last year to reduce headcount by 8,800, but said that the layoffs may be higher than what it had announced in 2007. The company had eliminated 3,200 jobs by the end of its 2008 fiscal year in February of this year. A month later, Dell gave a revised layoff number of 8,900.

  • Advanced Micro Devices said in November that it plans to lay off 500 staff, the second round of job cuts to come from the company this year. "We can confirm a worldwide reduction of 500 positions across various departments, levels and locations," AMD spokesman Mike Silverman said in an e-mail. Battered by a resurgent Intel and product delays, AMD has struggled to turn a profit in recent quarters.

  • As the current economic crisis continues to unfold, we are keeping a eye on the industry's financial fluctuations.

  • British telecom operator BT Group said in November it will lay off 10,000 workers as it seeks to cut costs and improve the profitability of its services branch. Most of the job cuts will come from indirect labor, such as subcontractors and offshore workers. BT has already let go 4,000 workers and the remaining 6,000 cuts will be complete by the end of its financial year on March 31, 2009. The cuts represent a 6 percent reduction in workforce.

  • Facing a weakening economy worldwide and new competitors, Nokia in early November said it planned to cut about 600 employees.The bulk of affected workers -- 450 -- will be in sales and marketing in Nokia's Markets unit, the manufacturing, distribution, and sales and marketing group created earlier this year as part of a company-wide restructuring. One hundred of those people will be in Finland, where Nokia is headquartered. Nokia also plans to let go of about 130 people who do long-term research for Nokia Research Center.

  • Cisco confirmed that it is to lay off 129 jobs at its Texas facility.

  • HP was expected to announce layoffs as it integrates Electronic Data Systems into its corporate fold, but the size of announced job cuts in September (24,600 employees over the next three years) was a shocker. The layoffs will amount to about 7.5 percent of HP employees during those three years, with almost half of the cuts from the US workforce.

  • Struggling smartphone maker Palm laid off employees worldwide in November, but declined to say how many workers were affected. A Palm spokeswoman said: "It's generally the result of challenges facing the company and the industry, and better positions us to achieve profitability and long-term growth." Palm had already let go of more than 200 employees according to Q1 and Q3 financial filings. Competition from smartphone makers such as Apple and RIM have put pressure on Palm's business.

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