The Swiss technology group, Unaxis, has announced the loss of 400 jobs in Switzerland and the resignation of its chief executive as part of a major restructuring.
A total of 500 posts will be cut worldwide by 2007 in what Unaxis called a “phased reduction”.
"These planned structural adjustments should by the end of 2007 lead to a phased reduction of 500 positions, 400 of which are in Switzerland and Liechtenstein," the company said in a statement.
But it said 200 new positions would be created in Asia over the same period.
On Tuesday, Unaxis also issued its third profit warning in only four months. The company has been hit by increased competition, high production costs and unfavourable exchange rates.
The firm said it expected to post "only a slightly positive operating result" this year.
Change of CEO
CEO Heinz Kundert resigned with immediate effect, Unaxis said, because of poor business development in the company’s Display Technology division.
He will be replaced by board member Harald Eggers, who will hold the fort until a permanent replacement is found.
The board of directors said it planned to focus on its thin-film and vacuum-technology businesses and to restructure its semiconductor equipment division.
In addition, Unaxis would also increase production capacity in its assembly and packaging division in the Far East.
Certain operations would continue to take place in Cham, Switzerland, such as research, new product design and the servicing of the European market, the company said.
The former Oerlikon-Bührle is headquartered in Pfäffikon, canton Schwyz, and has 80 subsidiaries in 25 countries. It employs approximately 6,500 people and recorded sales of SFr1.6 billion ($1.4 billion) in 2003.
Unaxis' thin-film business produces coatings for objects such as CDs and DVDs.
It also produces semiconductor equipment, which finishes off microchips.
In the first nine months of 2004, sales increased by 31 per cent to SFr1.5 billion.
Last year, sales rose by 28 per cent to SFr1.6 billion.
Technology group Unaxis is undergoing a major restructuring.
The company will cut 400 jobs in Switzerland.
It will focus on thin-film and vacuum technology.
CEO Heinz Kundert has resigned.
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