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Logitech to slash 15 percent of workforce

Manufacturer of PC peripherals, based in Switzerland, says the retail environment has "deteriorated significantly" and will "worsen in the upcoming months."

Correction at 8:00 a.m. PST: Logitech employs over 9,000 people.

Swiss peripherals manufacturer Logitech plans to cut approximately 15 percent of its salaried workforce. Logitech has more than 9,000 employees worldwide.

In a statement Monday, the company cited the deepening economic gloom as the reason for the cut.

"During the December quarter, the retail environment deteriorated significantly," Logitech Chief Executive Gerald Quindlen said. "We experienced varying degrees of weakness across all geographies and channels, as our customers reduced inventory levels in the face of weaker consumer demand. Moreover, we expect the economic environment to worsen in the coming months, and we are therefore taking significant actions to align our cost structure with what is likely to be an extended downturn."

Logitech, which has offices in Silicon Valley, Switzerland, and Asia, makes products such as keyboards, mice, Webcams, headphones, and remote controls. On Tuesday, it introduced several products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Logitech has sales offices in major cities in North America, Asia, and Europe, including in the United Kingdom.

In its announcement about its restructuring, the company withdrew its growth targets for sales and operating income in its fiscal year 2009, and did not provide any new estimates.

Logitech will give details of the job cuts and restructuring with its fiscal third-quarter results, due on 20 January. It expects savings from the restructuring to begin to show in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2010.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.