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Agilent cuts costs, trims headcount

Posted: 30 Mar 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:restructuring  electronic measurement  board test 

In response to the most severe global downturn in Agilent Technologies Inc.'s history, the company has announced its plans to layoff about 2,700 jobs—roughly 14 per cent of its workforce—as part of a major restructuring in its Electronic Measurement and Semiconductor & Board Test segments which will include new leadership.

Agilent said fiscal 2009 revenue in the Electronic Measurement segment is expected to be down about 30 per cent from 2008 to the lowest level in the company's 10-year history.

Revenue in the Semiconductor & Board Test segment is expected to be down more than 50 per cent from last year and off 65 per cent from its peak volume, Agilent said.

Agilent also named Ron Nersesian senior vice president and general manager of the company's Electronic Measurement Group, where he will oversee all business operations of both the Electronic Measurement and Semiconductor & Board Test segments.

In a statement, Bill Sullivan, Agilent president and CEO, said the company has been aggressive in addressing the downturn in electronic measurement markets, but that business remains severely depressed with no prospect for a meaningful recovery in the foreseeable future.

"Therefore, we have no choice but to resise our electronic measurement businesses for the realities of the marketplace," Sullivan said.

Nersesian, 49, has 27 years of experience in engineering, marketing and general management at Agilent, Hewlett-Packard Co. and other high-tech companies, according to Agilent.

Agilent said the restructuring would over the next four quarters reduce costs in its Electronic Measurement segment by Rs.1,491.58 crore ($300 million) per year. The further restructuring of the Semiconductor & Board Test segment will reduce costs by an additional Rs.49.72 crore ($10 million) per year, Agilent said.

The restructuring will have a cash cost of about Rs.795.51 crore ($160 million), Agilent said.

"For Agilent to realise its full potential, we must have a financially healthy company and a solidly profitable Electronic Measurement business," Sullivan said.

Agilent also announced it would suspend its share repurchase programme until the end of its 2009 fiscal year in order to fund the restructuring.

-Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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