ECI Telecom to fire 100-150 more employees

The latest wave of layoffs at the telecom equipment vendor comes despite an expected 24% rise in revenue in 2011.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that ECI Telecom Ltd. will fire 100-150 more employees in Israel after the Jewish holidays.

The last wave of layoffs was a year ago. Then-ECI CEO Rafi Maor said at the time that the layoffs were part of the company's strategy.

Swarth Group, controlled by Shani and Britain's Ashmore Investment Management Ltd. (LSE: ASHM), acquired ECI in 2007 for $1.24 billion. ECI's first subsequent move was to fire 700 employees as part of a restructuring and the outsourcing of operations to Flextronics International Inc. (Nasdaq: FLEX). ECI carried out subsequent waves of layoffs, which reduced its workforce to 3,000 employees by June, including 1,600 employees in Israel, including 100 at a new development center in Beersheva.

Telecommunications equipment vendors, including ECI, have been hit by a deteriorating business climate in the past few years. The company reportedly had $600-700 million in sales in 2010, the same as in 2009, although it expects 24% revenue growth in 2011.

ECI has had a stormy year, including Maor's taking over as chairman from Shaul Shani, and the reappointment of Giora Bitan as CFO. Shimon Bart replaced Maor as president and CEO. The company says that the measures were taken to return to Wall Street in mid-2012.

ECI's spokesman said in response, "As part of the company's preparations for the challenges facing it in 2012 and afterwards, and in order to maintain the annual growth rate forecast for 2011, the company's management is considering how to exercise its internal work plan, which will be the company's future growth engine."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 16, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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