Further job cuts not ruled out by Xerox

1 May 2003

NEW YORK: Xerox yesterday refused to rule out further job cuts in its quest to turn itself around after recent financial difficulties. The company has operations in Dublin and Dundalk and employs approximately 2,000 people in Ireland.

“We’ve done a fair amount of restructuring and have reduced our cost base by around US$2bn worldwide. However, it would only be fair to say that there’s no finish line to cost management. Whenever there is redundancy in our organisation we will continue to look at it,” said Richard Cerrone, senior vice-president and European general manager at Xerox, speaking to siliconrepublic.com.

Outsourcing of manufacturing is one area the company is examining. “In reducing costs, we’ve begun outsourcing manufacturing. This began with our agreement with Flextronics. We will start to look at other sources to manufacture products. We’re not immune to third-party arrangements,” said Cerrone.

The company outsourced most of its office manufacturing to Singapore-based Flextronics in October 2001. The move reflects a growing trend among vendors to outsource manufacturing to organisations operating in low-cost environments such as south east Asia.

Some 500 jobs were lost in Ireland when Xerox decided to close its inkjet production facility in Dundalk in 2001. Xerox employs around 2,000 people in Ireland. Its presence is spread across manufacturing, tech support, financial services, treasury and corporate governance roles.

The rising costs of doing business in Ireland has led to some concern about the future of many multinationals in this country. On a recent visit to Ireland, Xerox CEO and chairman Anne Mulcahy expressed concern about rising inflation in the country. The dangers of Ireland’s loss of competitiveness were illustrated recently by the decision by a US-based technology company Honeywell to relocate 63 jobs from a subsidiary in Waterford to a plant in India.

By Dick O’Brien