After warning in January that profit margins at its RAN business would worsen, telecom equipment maker Ericsson will lay off 8,500 employees globally as part of its plan to cut costs, according to a memo sent to employees and seen by Reuters.
“The way headcount reductions will be managed will differ depending on local country practice,” Chief Executive Borje Ekholm wrote in the memo. “In several countries the headcount reductions have already been communicated this week,” he said. “It is our obligation to take this cost out to remain competitive,” Ekholm said in the memo. “Our biggest enemy right now may be complacency.”
While technology companies such as Microsoft, Meta and Alphabet have laid off thousands of employees citing economic conditions, Ericsson’s move would be the largest layoff to hit the telecoms industry.
On Monday, the company, which employs more than 105,000 worldwide, announced plans to cut about 1,400 jobs in Sweden. While Ericsson did not disclose which geography would be most affected, analysts had predicted that North America would likely be most affected and growing markets such as India the least.
The company said in December it would cut costs by 9 billion crowns ($880 million) by the end of 2023 as demand slows.
“Our aim is to manage the process in every country with fairness, respect, professionalism and in line with local labor legislation,” Ericsson said in a statement.
“We are also working on our service delivery, supply, real estate and IT. We have already started to implement and accelerate various initiatives to help us reach” the cost-cutting goal, Ericsson said.
Many telecom companies had beefed up their inventories during the height of the pandemic which is now leading to slowing orders for telecom equipment makers like Ericsson and Nokia.