China's Legend cuts 5 pct of its workforce

BEIJING (03/16/2004) - Legend Group Ltd., China's largest PC maker, announced Monday plans to lay off about 5 percent of its workforce as part of a broader restructuring plan revealed last month.

Efforts to reform the company involve an overall restructuring that will result in the mergers of certain groups within the company, and overlapping of certain positions, Legend said in a statement. Streamlining the company's workforce is required to avoid wasting resources and improving operational efficiency.

The layoffs are part of the company's overall strategic reshuffling plan and are not related to the performance of the staff members involved, Legend said. A comprehensive compensation program is already in place, and psychological counseling and re-employment assistance have been offered to employees that have been laid off, it said.

The restructuring and layoffs have been put in place too quickly for affected staff to adjust and resettle themselves so the compensation offered is considered comparatively large.

"The resolve of the decision-makers to carry out the reform at such a short notice is quite unexpected," said one mid-level manager at Legend.

Over the next quarter or two, the higher returns resulting from the retrenchment will be obvious in the financial books, but it is hard to evaluate the negative effect of the retrenchment on sales.

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