LONDON Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson is to lay off about 400 workers, roughly half the work force, at its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park, Rayleigh, North Carolina in the U.S.
The move is part of the major reorganization the company announced in July , when it said it would need to make savings of Euros 300 million and reduce headcount by some 2,000.
In a statement Monday (Sept.29), Sony Ericsson (London, England) said it recognized that "market conditions have changed very rapidly and action must be taken to ensure that it can remain competitive in the dynamic and fast-paced telecommunications industry."
"Today the company confirms that it is beginning to implement a plan to align its operations and resources worldwide to meet an increasingly competitive business environment and to help restore its capability for profitable growth. The measures that are being taken by Sony Ericsson are aimed at becoming a faster, more agile and more cost efficient organisation."
The company said the Triangle Park job cuts would take effect by the end of the year and will affect people in all departments including research, development, sales and administration.
No details were available of where the remaining job cuts would happen, but the statement confirmed that internal announcements about the reorganization were made at other locations and plants, and that there will now be a period of consultation between local management, employees/consultants and employee representatives to determine which positions at each of the affected sites will be eliminated.
More details on the "global alignment plans" will be given when the struggling mobile phone maker issues its Q3 2008 financial results on 17 October.
According to The Register , however, user interface development is set to be focused in Beijing. Symbian development will focus on the company's Lund office, near Malmo, which will become the company's new Symbian "competence hub".
The Monday announcement made no mention of the UIQ office at Ronneby, Sweden. UIQ is the joint venture with Motorola which began life in the 1990s as an Ericsson R&D lab, and which had invested heavily in system and application development for the UIQ user interface for Symbian devices.
UIQ was the first casualty of the announcement by the acquisition of Symbian by Nokia in June, as Sony Ericsson decided it would develop new UIs based on Nokia's S60 instead.
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