Sun confirms second round of layoffs

Another 1,500 get pink slips

Server and operating system maker Sun Microsystems has confirmed that it had indeed enacted another round of layoffs, as we reported it would.

"Sun continues to make important choices to streamline operations and align resources to best address market opportunity and position the company for improved financial performance and long term growth," a company spokesperson said by email late last night.

They then reminded El Reg about the workforce reduction announced back in November 2008, which this week's round of layoffs are a part of, and which we said it was. Then they acted like we got it wrong, when we didn't. (Go figure.)

You will remember that back then, Sun said it would be trimming between 5,000 and 6,000 employees from the payroll worldwide, cutting between $700m and $800m in expenses from Sun's books, but costing somewhere between $500m and $600m to accomplish. In January, about 1,300 employees were let go as part of the November layoff plan.

"This week, Sun can confirm that notifications are being given to approximately 1,500 as part of this effort," the spokesperson continued. "Reductions are being made across all levels, including vice presidents and directors. Sun remains committed to its strategy with a consistent focus on providing innovations that enable customers to address their business needs. We continue to see great opportunities for our technologies globally and are focused on our customers and partners. We will continue to provide updates on our progress against the workforce reduction plan as they come available."

The one rumour that Sun did not comment on, and which shows how tough it is out there in some sectors of the economy, is that Sun's direct sales force is being hit particularly hard as the company shifts to more channel sales to push servers, storage, software, and services to enterprise clients. Another rumour Sun neither confirmed nor denied is that the entire New York sales office - which mostly caters to the financial services and media industries - has been closed.

Bootnote: On Wednesday morning, Sun contacted us and said that its New York sales office is most certainly still open. The rumors about its demise were premature - at least until IBM buys Sun and moves everyone up to 590 Madison Avenue. ®

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