Agilent Technologies is cutting cut 450
jobs, or about 9 percent, of the 5,000 people employed in its
healthcare products subsidiary as it seeks to streamline and
consolidate manufacturing facilities across the globe.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based industrial instrument manufacturer
plans to cut about 200 contract employees from the payroll and
accelerate programs to streamline manufacturing operations,
affecting facilities in Andover, Mass.; Qingdao, China; and
Agilent chief executive Ned Barnholt said Monday in a statement
the moves were necessary to return the unit to profitability.
Agilent late last month warned Wall Street its upcoming
third-quarter profit would be lower than expected.
The company said last quarter it was "disappointed'' in the
healthcare products business. Orders in Agilent's healthcare unit
during the latest second quarter fell 8 percent to $349 million.
Agilent said that factors slowing capital purchasing by its
hospital customers include accelerating purchases in 1999 to avoid
possible Y2K issues and federal budgetary pressures.
"We don't intend to wait for market conditions to improve
before implementing our plans,'' Barnholt said. `We're firmly
committed to strengthening this business and are confident that
today's actions will help get HSG back on track.''
U.S. workforce layoffs were expected to be completed by Oct. 31;
Agilent said it expected a one-time charge of $25 million to
complete the global job cuts but would see savings of $80 million
annually beginning in 2001.
With approximately 43,000 employees serving customers in more
than 120 countries, Agilent Technologies is the spinoff of
Hewlett-Packard Co. that design and manufacture test, measurement
and monitoring instruments, systems and solutions, and
semiconductor and optical components.
On the Net:
Agilent Technologies site: http://www.agilent.com