Ericsson to hire more in NZ despite 12,000 layoffs globally

As telecommunications gear maker Ericsson lays off 12,000 workers worldwide, its New Zealand subsidiary is in hiring mode.

As telecommunications gear maker Ericsson lays off 12,000 workers worldwide, its New Zealand subsidiary is in hiring mode.

The Swedish firm has suffered a 90% fall in net income in its most recent quarter compared with the year before, but the New Zealand company says it’s in better shape than its parent.

“New Zealand has already been through much of the restructuring that’s going on worldwide now,” says communications manager Alison Crosbie.

“We already refocused on our customers rather than on the technology units and structurally we’re very sound.”

While Ericsson has trouble in north America and western Europe, the Asia-Pacific region is something of a “jewel in the crown” at the moment, she says.

“We’ve just landed a big contract with TelstraSaturn and will probably need to hire some of those international guys who are being laid off.” The contract sees Ericsson winning the prime contractor role in TelstraSaturn’s $50 million IP network infrastructure.

Ericsson worldwide is in talks with Sony about a possible joint mobile phone venture and has signed a memorandum of understanding that may see the two companies create a subsidiary to produce handsets.

Ericsson has already signalled it would lay off staff in the cellphone handset production area and is in the process of outsourcing its handset manufacture to Singapore-based Flextronics.

“We expect to have an entry-level CDMA handset ready for Telecom’s network launch in July as well as a GPRS handset for Vodafone’s launch,” says Crosbie.

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