3Com takes the knife to a third of its workforce

3Com takes the knife to a third of its workforce

Network vendor 3Com has announced it will slash its workforce again, this time by up to 30 per cent, in order to cut costs.

In the US yesterday, 3Com revealed it will cut another 3000 jobs worldwide in an attempt to save up to $US1 billion in annual operating expenses and appease the company's shareholders.

3Com has shed 19 jobs in Australia, with cuts coming from marketing, finance and support staff, ARN learned. An Australian spokesperson for the company would not comment further on the US announcement, but did confirm 3Com Australia/NZ's marketing director, Michelle Kinna, was one of the employees retrenched.

"It is a pretty significant number compared to where they were," said one source in contact with ARN. "They've gone from six sales staff, down to one."

The company has been in the process of "right-sizing" for some time and 3Com EMEA's (Europe, Middle East and Africa) vice president, Bert van der Zwan, claimed the company has already realised considerable savings from its earlier wave of retrenchments.

"This is the second and last phase of our restructuring process. In the first months of the process, we already realised $500 million in savings. We want to begin our new fiscal year, on June 4, with a clean sheet," said Van der Zwan.

Additionally 3Com said in a statement that it is evaluating further possibilities to save money in product design, plant, equipment and property.

"We have been hit by the slowdown in the US economy, just like all our competitors," said Van der Zwan, adding that the company's product portfolio won't be affected by the measures announced yesterday.

3Com said the reduction, which will occur over several quarters, is expected to be a major contribution to the company's return to profitability. 3Com reported a pro forma net loss in its third fiscal quarter that ended March 2 of $122.8 million.

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