10 More Crushing 2012 Tech Industry Layoffs12:00 PM EST Thu. Oct. 11, 2012
Following our first round-up of major tech industry layoffs published in August, it's clear we not only missed a few big ones but also that the headcount travails of HP, RIM, Nokia, Cisco and others we mentioned were hardly limited to their corners of the industry.
It's been a tough 2012. Here's a look at 10 more well-known tech companies that have confirmed layoffs this year, including several telecom and infrastructure companies that have only recently mentioned the bad news.
CEO: Ben Verwaayen
The revamping of Alcatel-Lucent continues: The French telecom giant confirmed plans in July to cut 5,000 jobs by the end of next year, representing about 7 percent of its global workforce. Alcatel says the layoffs will come from all of its global operations with the exception of its research and development staff, which includes the fabled Bell Labs. Alcatel-Lucent observers say the employees most at risk are those working on any of Alcatel-Lucent's less-profitable services contracts, which the company itself has said it will look to pare down.
CEO: Kevin Kennedy
Avaya's finances don't paint the prettiest picture at present, and the company in September said it would include layoffs in an effort to cut between $135 million and $235 million in operating costs during it new fiscal year. Avaya, which has about 17,000 employees worldwide, hasn't confirmed the scope of the layoffs. For the quarter ended June 30, 2012, it reported $1.25 billion in revenue and a $166 million loss.
CEO: Rick Hamada
To be fair, distribution powerhouse Avnet hasn't confirmed the scope of any actual layoffs yet. But at press time, Avnet disclosed it was planning a number of cost-cutting moves on top of the $40 million to $50 million in expense reductions it had previously announced this summer, following word that first fiscal quarter sales would come in at the low end of expectations.
CEO: Hubert Joly
Best Buy's just gone through a scandal-plagued CEO transition and also has plenty of workforce optimization to do. Back in July, it confirmed plans to cut about 2,400 jobs, including 600 employees of its Geek Squad services unit. The cuts are about 1.4 percent of Best Buy's global headcount of about 167,000, on top of the planned closing of about 50 stores that the company had announced three months earlier.
CEO: Hans Vestberg
Ericsson is still the world's biggest telecom company, but back in March, it confirmed plans to slash some 10 percent of its U.S. workforce, or about 1,400 total jobs. Several reports quoted Ericsson sources as saying the company was targeting its lowest-performing employees and would cut from the bottom.
CEO: Kevin Johnson
It's been a hard year for Juniper, which has seen its market momentum stall following a series of earnings disappointments and industry speculation that QFabric, its much-touted converged data center architecture, is seeing a slow uptake. Juniper confirmed to CRN in early October that it will lay off about 500 employees -- roughly 5 percent of its workforce -- but also denied speculation that the bulk of those cuts will come from the QFabric group. Juniper had previously cut a few hundred jobs last fall.
Co-Presidents: Michael DeCesare and Todd Gebhart
Intel-owned McAfee confirmed to news outlets in October that would cut a "small percentage" of its roughly 7,100 employees, the latest evidence of slowdown among some of the country's top security vendors. More details on McAfee's cuts should emerge when Intel reports earnings on Oct. 16.
CEO: Richard McBee
Mitel mounted a major channel overhaul and a sizable turnaround effort following the appointment of Richard McBee as CEO in 2011. There are plenty of signs that things are much-improved, but at the same time, it'll still be a bit before Mitel realizes those improvements on its balance sheet. In August, Mitel cut guidance by more than $10 million in revenue for its July quarter and also said it would cut 200 full-time employees and close facilities.
Mitel previously cut about 20 percent of its overall workforce in 2010, following its disappointing initial public offering.
CEO: Jeffery R. Gardner
Windstream's mammoth acquisition of Paetec a year ago meant job cuts were a certainty, and the service provider has spent much of the ensuing time mapping out a series of layoffs. Back in June, Windstream said it would cut up to 400 management jobs after laying off an initial 280 employees at the beginning of the year. Among the cuts was Dan Sterling, Windstream's well-liked vice president of dealer sales, whose channel chief role now belongs to Jeff Howe, president, Windstream central region.
CEO: Daniel S. Mead
Layoffs are sweeping the telecom service provider space this year -- part of what most analysts see as an overall industry consolidation -- and big iron Verizon hasn't been immune. Verizon in June confirmed it would cut about 1 percent of its global workforce -- roughly 1,700 jobs -- and would resort to cuts if not enough employees took buyout packages.