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Bloodiest tech industry layoffs of 2011

Bob Brown | Nov. 4, 2011
Job cuts in the U.S. technology industry in 2011 are down significantly from a year ago and turnover levels in IT shops have returned to pre-recessionary levels, but that doesn’t make the tens of thousands of people in the United States who have been laid off from electronics, telecommunications and computer industry jobs feel much better.

Motorola Trims Down by 1,500 Jobs

Motorola Mobility ended October by revealing it will lay off 800 people, the latest in a string of worker reductions at the handset maker, as it prepares to become part of Google. The 800 people include staff at its mobile device business and its home business, as well as some who perform corporate functions, Motorola said. The company has already let go around 700 employees this year.

AOL Reduces Staff by 900

Despite laying off 20% of its  workforce in March, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said he foresaw 2011 as the year that AOL would start to grow again. Armstrong attributed the layoffs to the changing business model of AOL, which is moving from being an Internet service provider to an ad-driven online content company. Armstrong’s optimism hasn’t been entirely warranted: In Q3, AOL sales sank 6% and the company lost $2.6 million.

HP Acing as Many as 525 Jobs in Palm Unit

HP confirmed in September that it had started laying off workers associated with last year's billion-dollar acquisition of Palm, as it closes down the mobile device business it planned to base on Palm's webOS. The news came almost exactly a month after HP announced a sweeping reorganization and refocusing of its business. Of course the really big layoff came in September, when HP ousted CEO Leo Apotheker and hired Meg Whitman as its new chief

State Street Lets Go of 530 IT Workers

It’s a little trickier to decipher IT job losses within non-IT companies, but the Boston-based financial institution, which employed 4,000 people in IT, acknowledged over the summer that it was releasing 530 tech workers and shifting another 300-plus to IBM and outsourcing company Wipro. 

MySpace Lays Off Half of Staff

MySpace started the year by announced it was laying off about half of its 1,100 workers. And over the summer, in announcing its acquisition by Specific Media, the once influential social networking business said it was laying off even more employees

Yahoo, Google Head in Different Directions

In a negative prelude to its fourth quarter earnings report, Yahoo in January confirmed it was cutting 1% of its global staff, or about 140 employees, after slashing its workforce by 4% the previous month.   The news was followed almost immediately by word that rival Google was set to go on a hiring spree in 2011. 

Extreme Networks Cuts Workforce by 16%

Looking to slash $20 million in expenses, Extreme Networks in July said it would cut 110 employees as part of an effort to allow it to achieve consistent operating income improvements. Excluded from the layoffs: R&D personnel.  Among Extreme’s latest offerings: A WiFi access point about the size of an iPhone. 

IDG News Service contributed to this report


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