Lucent: Another round of layoffs looms

Lucent Technologies plans another round of layoffs in the coming months to help it save more money.

Lucent Technologies plans another round of layoffs in the coming months to help it save more money.

Lucent chief executive Henry Schacht told employees Thursday that the telecommunications equipment maker will need to slash additional jobs by the end of September, a Lucent spokesman said. Lucent on Thursday also announced that 8,500 employees had taken a voluntary early retirement package to help the company cut costs.

Like rivals Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks, Lucent has been ravaged by the economic downturn and has been restructuring, undergoing changes in its corporate structure, executive turnover and the selling of manufacturing plants. The company, which has about 104,000 employees, announced layoffs of 10,000 employees in January.

A Lucent spokesman on Thursday said the new round of layoffs, which will be announced between now and the end of September, is expected to include executives.

Lucent said that about 8,500 people out of about 10,000 eligible employees have taken an early retirement package that was offered in June. The people who took the buyouts included clerical workers and midlevel managers, a spokeswoman said.

"Clearly we wanted to reduce our head count, and this was one way we could do it without (increasing) the number of forced layoffs," a Lucent spokeswoman said.

Lucent on Tuesday reorganized into two main product divisions in an effort to revitalize sales. The company said it was dividing into one unit focusing on wireless equipment and the other focusing on traditional networking equipment and software.

The company will report its third-quarter financial results July 24.

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