Oracle to cut 10pc of Irish workforce by next year

1 Oct 2003

Oracle is to lay off 10pc of its Irish workforce – approximately 100 people – by July 2004, it has emerged. According to a statement issued by the company this afternoon, the job roles affected are in Oracle’s Shared Services Centre based at East Point Business Park in Dublin.

A spokesperson for the company told that some staff were told the news last night, while the majority learned of the decision today.

“This job role reduction is expected to be achieved mainly through a combination of redeployment, natural attrition, non-renewal of temporary short-term contracts and, as a last resort, redundancies,” explained the managing director of Oracle Ireland, Nicky Sheridan.

“This process has been enabled through automation and efficiencies, as well as Oracle’s Global Single Instance initiative,” he said.

Sheridan added that the company will work with employees to assist with the transition, although it will continue to recruit and add jobs in key areas of the company’s operations.

Despite citing operational efficiencies as a reason for cutting the company’s headcount in Dublin, Sheridan has been quite vocal about the rising costs of doing business in the Irish economy, warning of “hidden costs”, as well as highlighting the growing popularity of locations such as India for foreign direct investment.

At a press conference in Dublin last month, he warned: “Ireland needs to be vigilant in terms of costs, indirect costs as well as wage costs.” He also called for increased vigilance in terms of having the right skills pool.

Oracle employs approximately 1,000 people in Ireland and its operation here handles sales of Oracle products in the EMEA region worth in excess of US$2bn in revenue. In 2002 alone, the company spent €130m in the Irish economy. However, to underpin Sheridan’s warning about new emerging competitors for Ireland, Oracle Corporation recently announced that its workforce in India would soon double to 6,000 people. Rival IT player Microsoft also recently announced plans to expand its IT operations in India.

By John Kennedy