April 05, 2001, 4:49 PM — Faced with a slowing global economy, wireless giants LM Ericsson Telephone Co. and Nokia Corp. last week announced cutbacks, layoffs and changes in their business strategies. Ericsson unveiled a global efficiency program to help cut costs by at least $2 billion annually starting next year. The Stockholm-based company placed a freeze on recruiting and said it would lay off at least 2,100 employees in Sweden and England. Ericsson also plans to drastically reduce the number of consultants it uses and shift work to its employees.
Espoo, Finland-based Nokia said its Nokia Networks infrastructure arm will refocus its broadband systems division into two business units to improve service and reduce costs. Also planned are layoffs of 300 to 400 workers.
Fujitsu Launches Storage Software Unit
Fujitsu Ltd. in Tokyo last week said it's launching a U.S.-based company to develop and market open storage software products and compete against heavyweight vendors such as IBM and Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp. The Fujitsu Software Technology Corp. unit, which is being referred to informally as Fujitsu Softek, will operate as part of Fujitsu's Amdahl Corp. subsidiary in Sunnyvale, Calif. Fujitsu Softek will combine products from the former Amdahl Software division with new storage management software that's now in development.
Boston-based Internet consulting firm Viant Corp. said it will cut 38% of its workforce, or 211 employees, and close its offices in Houston, San Francisco and Munich, Germany. . . . Scholastic Corp. in New York has backed away from plans to purchase Web technology, toys, customer lists and other inventory from defunct online retailer eToys Inc. . . . Nortel Networks Corp. in Brampton, Ontario, warned that its first-quarter earnings would likely be even worse than it forecast last month and said it would cut another 5,000 jobs.