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3Com to lay off 380 in Chicago

3Com will lay off 380 people--230 full-time and 150 contract workers--at two former US Robotics facilities in Chicago.

3Com (COMS) said today that it will lay off 380 people--230 full-time and 150 contract workers--at two former US Robotics facilities in Chicago.

In addition, the networking giant said that John McCartney, president of 3Com's client access business operation, has resigned.

The laid off employees worked on the manufacturing line for modems and remote access servers. A spokeswoman said the cutbacks occurred because of productivity gains on those assembly lines. In addition, she said, 3Com's buyout of US Robotics last year means that manufacturing is occurring in Santa Clara, California; Ireland; and Singapore--not just Illinois.

In December, 3Com posted an 87-percent drop in second-fiscal-quarter profits, which it attributed to excess inventory from its modem business, and to its effort to move to a new product line. 3Com bought US Robotics in June 1997.

In March, the company revised its restructuring charge for the buyout to $270 million, from $426 million. The revision came in response to a request from the Securities and Exchange Commission and stemmed from the fact that the companies had different fiscal periods.

3Com closed today's trading down 1/2, at 33-1/2. It has closed as high as 59-11/16 and as low as 24 during the past year.

The company is expected to report quarterly results on Tuesday.