Oracle to lay off staff

Oracle to lay off staff

Oracle will lay off as much as 2 per cent of its worldwide staff, or about 866 workers, as part of an effort to cut costs in the face of an ongoing economic downturn, the company announced.

"Based on current business conditions, at this time we expect to reduce our worldwide workforce by approximately 1-2 per cent through normal attrition and regular business performance assessments, in line with our ongoing global e-business process improvements," Oracle said in a brief statement.

The database vendor had 43,308 staff on its books at the end of its February quarter, said Oracle spokeswoman Stacey Torman, meaning it will shed about 433 to 866 staff.

Just last week Oracle executives painted a grim outlook for the company's fourth fiscal quarter, citing ongoing uncertainty in the US economy. Earnings for the period, which ends May 31, will likely be flat compared to the same time last year, executives said.

In a conference call after last week's results were announced, Oracle executives stressed that predictions are hard to make in the current climate, and hinted that layoffs would follow.

"With the sole exception of R&D, Oracle should constantly be reducing head count in every area," Larry Ellison, Oracle's chairman and chief executive officer, said during the call.

The cuts are less severe than those enacted by Oracle's high-tech peers recently. Last week networking equipment maker Cisco Systems said it would lay off 3000 to 5000 full-time employees, along with 3000 temp or contract workers. Intel on March 8 said it would cut 5000 jobs over the next 9 months, much of it through attrition.

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