Telecom-IT Layoff Tracker: AT&T, Oracle, Ribbon Communications, SAP

Job Cuts

While tech sector employment remains strong, that doesn’t mean everyone in the channel has been able to avoid getting pinked-slipped this year.

AT&T, Lenovo, SAP and Oracle are among companies in the channel that have shed workers during the first half of the year as part of a cost-cutting strategy and/or business transformation. And according to CompTIA, telecommunications continues shedding workers, cutting an estimated 500 jobs last month.

The good news? The unemployment rate for technology jobs across the United States dropped to a 20-year low of 1.3 percent in May as hiring gains were recorded in both the tech sector and across the economy, providing opportunities for displaced workers.

Scroll through our layoff tracker below for a recap of cuts that occurred during the first six months of this year.

AT&T cuts

Last month, AT&T started notifying employees that their jobs are at risk as part of its plans to cut 1,880 U.S. jobs during the next few months, according to the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

The CWA said job-cut notifications are impacting AT&T technicians in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

This follows AT&T reportedly gearing up for layoffs in early January.

AT&T spokesman Marty Richter told Channel Partners that due to “changes as our business and industry continue to evolve, we are making some staff reductions involving technicians who install and repair certain services and network systems.”
Ribbon layoffs
Ribbon Communications

Last month, Ribbon Communications rolled out a restructuring initiative, including layoffs, designed to further streamline its operations and improve customer delivery.

When asked for details on what the company is calling “workforce reductions,” Ribbon provided the following statement: “At this point our focus is on the refinement of our research and development activities and consolidation of excess and duplicative facilities … and being in a stronger position to better serve our global customer base. We expect savings realized from these consolidation efforts to be reinvested in strengthening R&D and other activities.”

The company did say it expects to record about $6 million in restructuring expense associated with workforce reduction initiatives.

The facilities initiative includes consolidating Ribbon’s north Texas site into a single campus housing engineering, customer training and support, and administrative functions, and a reduction or elimination of certain facilities elsewhere. In addition, it plans to substantially consolidate its global software laboratories and server farms into two, lower-cost North American sites.
Rackspace cuts

For the third February in a row, Rackspace announced layoffs, this time about 200 workers — despite being a “stable, profitable” company.

Rackspace confirmed it had eliminated about 3 percent of its global workforce of more than 6,600 workers. Last February, it cut close to 100 workers, and in February 2017 it cut nearly 300.

The managed cloud services provider wouldn’t say what types of jobs were eliminated and where those jobs are located. The company’s headquarters is in San Antonio, Texas.

According to Rackspace officials, the company “continues” to be stable and profitable, and continues to hire.

Lenovo cuts jobs

In May, Lenovo confirmed it has cut hundreds of employees in its global workforce as part of its ongoing strategy amid rising revenue.

Kristy Fair, Lenovo’s director of global communications, said about 500 positions were impacted by the layoffs. The computer maker had about 5,000 workers in the United States and 57,000 workers globally.

She wouldn’t specify what types of positions are being eliminated or where they are located.
SAP job cuts

In March, nearly 450 SAP employees in California learned they would lose their jobs as part of the company’s plan to shed about 4,400 employees globally, through layoffs and early retirement, in a companywide restructuring program.

Of the California layoffs, 173 were in San Ramon, 94 in South San Francisco and 179 in Palo Alto as the facilities restructure their workforces, according to notices filed by the enterprise application software vendor with the California Employment Development Department. 

Developers, development experts, senior developers and product experts were among the workers most impacted in the Golden State.

As of 2018, SAP had nearly 96,500 full-time employees globally.

In a statement, SAP told Channel Partners the company is constantly changing to adapt to market and customer needs.

Oracle employees

In March, some 352 Oracle employees in California, including software and application developers, learned they would lose their jobs in May, according to filings with the California Employment Development Department.

Oracle reportedly laid off hundreds of employees as it continues shifting resources from old business to cloud computing. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices showed 97 employees at Oracle’s Santa Clara facility and 255 employees in Redwood City were impacted by the layoffs.

The Santa Clara facility is not closing as part of this reduction in force, Oracle said in its filing. Instead, Oracle is “reevaluating its product focus and skill set gaps, and for these reasons, has decided to lay off certain employees in the product development organization."

The Redwood City facility also isn’t closing, and the layoffs are taking place for the same reason there, according to Oracle.
IBM reduction

Last month, IBM confirmed plans to lay off up to 1,700 employees, representing a fraction of the more than 340,000 workers at the company.

Layoffs are nothing new to IBM, especially as it continues its turnaround plan and focuses on what it calls higher value segments of the IT market. Those segments include cloud computing, security and data analytics, at the top of the list of strategic imperatives for IBM president, CEO and chairman, Ginni Rometty.

“We are continuing to reposition our team to align with our focus on high-value segments of the IT market, and we also continue to hire aggressively in critical new areas that deliver value for our clients and IBM,” the company wrote in a statement to CNBC conforming reports of a layoff, that was first posted by
Intel staff cuts

In March, Intel confirmed plans to cut employees, laying off workers across the company.

According to The Oregonian/OregonLive, Intel’s layoffs numbered in the hundreds, citing employees who asked not to be identified.

The job cuts included Oregon, the company’s largest location with 20,000 workers, it said. Cuts also took place at other Intel facilities in the United States and at a large administrative facility in Costa Rica.

Intel confirmed the layoffs but wouldn’t say how many or where they are located. The company is focused on cloud computing, data center, IoT and PC solutions.

Intel provided the following statement regarding the layoffs: “Changes in our workforce are driven by the needs and priorities of our business, which we continually evaluate. We are committed to treating all impacted employees with professionalism and respect.”
Connectwise reduction

In February, ConnectWise announced its intention to be acquired by investment firm Thoma Bravo for an undisclosed amount, finally joining other segment leaders like DattoContinuumSolarWinds and Kaseya in the next stage of market maturation.

As part of its strategic realignment with Thoma Bravo, ConnectWise said it would eliminate 110 positions before creating 70 new ones over the next five years. The positions range across a number of roles and divisions.

“It’s been a deliberate activity,” Arnie Bellini, ConnectWise CEO, told Channel Futures. “We’ve been looking at where to take the company to the next level. We knew we could do that simply organically. We have big plans, and we needed a partner to help us accelerate those plans.”
VMware cuts

VMware cut more workers in January, according to The Register. Exactly how many, the company didn't say.

Mainly marketing staff were being dropped, with as much as 20% of that department's employees getting the ax, impacting 150-200 workers, according to CNBC reported a small percentage of VMware's 22,000-strong workforce would be affected.
AlgoSec reduction

In May, AlgoSec, the cybersecurity vendor with headquarters in the United States and Israel, confirmed it is laying off 8% of its 350 employees, or 28 workers.

Jeffrey Starr, AlgoSec’s chief marketing officer, confirmed the layoffs. The company develops data security management software for enterprises, and lists Microsoft, General Motors, Unilever, British Petroleum and Sony as clients.

Starr told Channel Partners his company is “now working to balance the organization in terms of the relative size of our sales and operational organizations, and shifting 8% of budgetary resources from operations to sales, in order to address significant current and upcoming business opportunities and foster long-term growth.”

AlgoSec continues to invest in and expand its channel activity as a core component of its growth strategy,” he said. “Its channel partners will benefit from these business opportunities in the sales, support, deployment and training associated with AlgoSec’s solutions.”

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