EMC confident of meeting Asian biz targets

Data storage leader EMC Corp remains bullish on achieving business goals for the Asia Pacific region despite announcing global layoffs overnight.

SINGAPORE--Data storage leader EMC Corp remains bullish on achieving business goals for the Asia Pacific region despite announcing global layoffs overnight.

EMC said it will trim 4 percent or 1,100 jobs worldwide as part of a plan to meet an earlier revenue growth goal of 20 percent or US$12 billion for 2001.

EMC South Asia marketing manager Verdayne Nunis said that less than 1 percent of job functions in Asia Pacific and Japan have been redeployed. "Therefore, there are no job cuts as such and the overall impact is minimal."

EMC employs 1,350 workers across Asia Pacific (including Japan) and there are no plans to scale back on recruitment.

In February, EMC said that it hopes to increase headcount to 1,890 by year end in the region. "We started the year with 1,350 employees and will continue to grow headcount by 40 percent by end 2001. Yesterday's announcement has minimal impact on our growth plans in Asia Pacific and Japan," Nunis said.

"We continue to see strong growth in the region and (will continue to) hire positions in sales, system engineers, professional services and customer service," she added.

On a worldwide basis, EMC aims to hire 7,000 workers by year end. At the end of 2000, the storage maker had 24,000 employees, compared with 17,500 in 1999.

Last November, EMC Asia Pacific managing director Steve Querner said he expects Asia Pacific--excluding Korea and Japan--to generate revenues of up to US$1.2 billion by the end of 2001. The company is on target to meet this projection, Nunis confirmed saying, "We are on track to 2001 being our first US$1 billion year in revenues."

Earlier, it was reported that EMC Corp still expects to spend about US$1 billion on research and development this year and is spending money on its own computing infrastructure.

EMC makes refrigerator-sized devices for storing data and making sure it stays safe. It has enjoyed a lead over competitors such as Sun Microsystems, Compaq Computer and former ally Hewlett-Packard, companies that were hit earlier by the spending slowdown.

Global job cuts will come in several areas including overlapping field organizations and server products from Data General, a company EMC acquired in 1999 chiefly for its Clariion line of storage products.

In addition to the layoffs, EMC is changing some employees' jobs. Several hundred people will be moved into sales jobs that carry a quota--positions in which minimum sales targets must be met and in which sales commissions account for a large fraction of an employee's pay.

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