Lenovo rumored readying layoffs

Amid pessimism surrounding the economic situation, more rumors of layoffs within companies, including Lenovo and Microsoft, have surfaced online.

Victoria Ho Special to CNET News
2 min read

Amid current pessimism over the global economy, more reports of layoffs have surfaced online.

PC manufacturer Lenovo is reportedly laying off 200 staff in its Beijing-based headquarters, of which 10 or so are senior management, China Tech News reported Monday.

The report quoted an inside source as saying official cuts are still going through government channels for approval, but added Lenovo "may conduct large-scale adjustments in the Asia-Pacific region" as well.

A Lenovo representative dismissed the reports as rumors, telling ZDNet Asia the company could not provide additional information as it does not comment on speculation.

Software giant Microsoft has also been in the midst of layoff rumors. A CNBC report appeared Monday, saying the company would embark on a "significant" initiative "which might begin as early as this month to offset a global slowdown in sales."

Over the last week, similar reports have appeared, saying the company would undertake a massive global layoff that would take out 17 percent of its workforce. Adding to speculation was a statement released the prior week by Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Brad Reback, saying the company's profitability would be improved by a 10 percent reduction of its full-time global workforce.

Microsoft also declined to comment, noting in an e-mail reply to ZDNet Asia that it does not comment on "speculations or rumors".

An increasing number of multinational corporations in recent months have announced plans to reduce their headcount. Japanese electronics giant Sony announced in December it would lay off 8,000 full-time workers and another 8,000 part-time and contract-based workers globally. It employs a staff of 160,000 overall.

Dell, which had in 2007 set the goal of lowering headcount globally by 8,900, completed the exercise by its third quarter last year.

According to a December report, IBM plans to cut 2,600 jobs across its Asia-Pacific operations in a companywide "reorganization," with Japan hit hardest at 1,000 jobs set to be axed.

Eileen Yu reported for ZDNet Asia.