Marconi Australia slashes 70 jobs

Marconi Australia slashes 70 jobs

Marconi has undertaken its third bout of job cutting, slashing 70 staff from its Australian operations while consolidating its three divisions into one.

The UK-based services firm will merge its networks, wireless and enterprise divisions into one unit for Australia and New Zealand.

The group will be headed by Paul Butcher, former boss of Marconi's network division, who has been appointed managing director of Australia and New Zealand and senior vice president for the Asia-Pacific region.

The 70 redundancies represent over a quarter of Marconi's 250 Australian staff and will occur primarily in the enterprise division, which was born out of the $70 million purchase of SciTech last year. No staff cuts will be made in New Zealand.

Butcher said the bottom had fallen out of the enterprise market in Australia as a result of the economic slowdown.

"We had been developing that part of our business but it hadn't been pulling through to sales," he said.

"We regret the loss of staff,

but it is part of focusing our resources into our core business - carrier-class network communications."

In August, Marconi announced 4000 job cuts globally while scaling back severely despite optimistic forecasts. The announcement shocked the market, as the company had already slashed 4000 jobs in April, and sparked speculation of a takeover.

Despite the rumours, Butcher said Marconi is dedicated to maintaining its presence in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

"Over the past two years, Marconi has invested over $200 million in building the business locally and we are committed to continuing to build and consolidate our core networking solutions business in both countries," he said.

Marconi will focus on core network solutions such as optical networks, high-capacity packet switches and broadband access platforms.

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