PCH to chop 250 roles in China as part of strategic overhaul

29 Feb 2016

PCH chief executive Liam Casey

Corkman Liam Casey’s global technology design engineering company PCH is to cut 250 jobs, or just under 10pc of its 2,600-strong global workforce, as part of a realignment of its business.

The $1bn-a-year revenue company has put in place a voluntary redundancy programme at its Shenzen operations in China.

For many of the large Silicon Valley giants, Casey’s Cork-headquartered company PCH masterminds the journey of a product from design to final manufacture and delivery. He is known in Silicon Valley circles as Mr China.

PCH said today that the realignment reflects the company getting much closer to the design of products for global tech giants.

Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com this morning, Casey said that Chinese factories have become more sophisticated in terms of producing more complex products such as internet of things and wearables devices.

As a result, PCH is focusing its efforts on the early inception and design of products like smart watches and focusing less on factory-level engineering.

“We are nearly 20 years in business and I think we are allowed to stop and think about how we should be focused for the future,” Casey said. “We have been growing 57pc a year for the last three years and we decided that it is time to focus on the right areas and what we are doing today is prudent and aimed at being more efficient in the future.”


Casey said that PCH won’t be selling off capital equipment in Shenzen as the facilities will still be required to engineer new products. However, he said the final assembly and processes around products like smartwatches require higher level manufacturing expertise, which has been developing swiftly in Shenzen.

He said he expects the 250 workers to be quickly absorbed into the thriving Shenzen hi-tech manufacturing economy.

“The amount of engineering being done there is very advanced and increasingly specialised.

“PCH customers are coming to us much earlier in the development phase. We are the go-to partner for many of the big brands, many of whom we can’t disclose, but we are doing a lot more of the design work and we are engaging at a much earlier stage.”

In the past year, PCH said it has worked with major consumer brands, including Johnson & Johnson and L’Oreal, that see technology such as wearables as vital to their future relationships with customers.

“We are focused on working with companies passionate about brand, design and customer experience, and helping them to understand the challenges of bringing hardware to market.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years