Sun Microsystems to lay off thousands

Managing director states that it is still 'business as usual' in the Middle East

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  November 17, 2008

Sun Microsystems announced that it would cut between 5,000 to 6,000 jobs in an attempt to dissipate effects of the economic downturn.

Jonathan Schwartz, CEO, Sun Microsystems commented that "…we have taken decisive actions to align Sun's business with global economic realities and accelerate our delivery of key open source platform innovations - from MySQL to Sun's latest Open Storage offerings," in a statement that announced layoffs involving 15% - 18% of the company’s global workforce.

As part of a restructuring plan, Sun will form two new business groups - application platform software and cloud computing & developer platforms - and a new group within the company’s existing systems business that will deal with systems platforms.

The announcement made headlines in the United States, where the tech industry seems to currently be especially vulnerable. In terms of how the decision will be implemented in the Middle East, Chris Cornelius, managing director of Sun Microsystems, MENA, said that it’s still “business as usual”.

“At a corporate level this will take months to implement so nothing immediate will happen and MENA continues to grow and increase revenue,” reassured Cornelius.

Cornelius added that customers are keen to move towards businesses built on open source, adding that Sun now has “an opportunity to define the industry's de facto open-source application platform - in datacenters, desktops, and devices.”

With the new changes, Sun Microsystems aims to realize cost savings in the third quarter of the company’s fiscal year 2009.

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