Archive for the ‘lay-offs’ Category

Russia’s high-tech sector reels

November 17, 2008

After the first round of layoffs, the staff members of MeshNetics filtered in as usual, taking their positions inside powder-blue cubicles and making the ritual run to the cafeteria for coffee. On one level, they felt relief: The cuts had been made, and they were all still here. It made them especially glad to see one another.

But there were thoughts they kept to themselves. It was hard not to stare at the vacant desks, the stray objects one programmer described as the “signs of lost people.” On the wall, a flat-screen monitor with the caption “MeshNetics Confidential” flashed snapshots from the summer, when this start-up company seemed to have harnessed the best ambitions of a new Russia. Now, anxiety was disturbing the employees’ sleep. The smokers were smoking more often.

Above: The main office of MeshNetics in Moscow, which produces wireless networking systems and is facing a money crunch. (James Hill for The New York Times)

By Ellen Barry
International Herald Tribune

The tale of this young company, which produces innovative wireless networking systems, offers a glimpse of how the financial crisis has swept through Russia’s budding entrepreneurial culture and crashed like cold water onto young workers who had come to see the boom times as normal.

Last month, as Russia’s stock market swooned and the credit crunch took hold around the world, Russian companies spooked by memories of previous bank collapses scrambled to protect what cash they had. Venture capital dried up virtually overnight, including at MeshNetics’ parent company.

At MeshNetics, a gingerly layoff was followed by a second cut, and a third. By late October, the options had dwindled: it had to find a new source of capital or suspend operations. “It’s going to be tough letting go of this period of growth,” Ilya Bagrak, the company’s software product manager, said last month. He was still in shock from the experience of firing one of his employees hours after they had shared their morning coffee.

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/17/europe/17russia.php

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GM reports $2.5B 3Q loss, says it’s running out of money, suspends Chrysler takeover talks

November 7, 2008

General Motors Corp. said Friday it lost $2.5 billion in the third quarter and warned that it could run out of cash in 2009 if the U.S. economic slump continues and it doesn’t get government aid.
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By TOM KRISHER and JEFF KAROUB, AP Business Writers
From The Associated Press

GM also said it has suspended talks to acquire Chrysler. While it didn’t specifically name the automaker, GM said it was setting aside considerations for a “strategic acquisition.”

“While the acquisition could potentially have provided significant benefits, the company has concluded that it is more important at the present time to focus on its immediate liquidity challenges and, accordingly, considerations of such a transaction as a near-term priority have been set aside,” the company’s said in a statement.

The automaker said its cash burn for the quarter accelerated to $6.9 billion, and government aid will be “essential” because of the slow economy and credit crisis.

The GM logo hangs over an unsold 2009 Acadia sports-utility ... 

Above: The GM logo hangs over an unsold 2009 Acadia sports-utility vehicle on the lot at a GMC Truck dealership in the south Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo., on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008. General Motors Corp. on Friday, Nov. 7, 2008 said it lost $2.5 billion in the third quarter and warned that it could run out of cash in 2009. GM also said it has suspended talks to acquire Chrysler, and said its cash burn for the quarter accelerated to $6.9 billion due to a severe U.S. auto sales slump.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081107/ap_on_bi_ge/earns_gm;_ylt=
AsQnG1GHOpiokSxdWMm4QZys0NUE

Economic Darkness Descends on Putin’s Russia

November 4, 2008

The friend giving me a ride swapped just a couple of grim words with his wife on his cell phone, then turned to me. “They fired her,” he said sadly. “There go our plans.” The wife, who had enjoyed a cushy bank job, then joined the tens of thousands of Russia’s new middle class who have found themselves newly unemployed.

By Yuri Zarakhovich   
Time Magazine

Consumers shop in a Moscow grocery store
Consumers shop in a Moscow grocery store
Ivan Grankin / APF / Getty

Later, I found another friend pacing his office atop one of the newly built skyscrapers of “Moscow City,” the real estate symbol of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s ambitions of turning the Russian capital into a new world financial center. Several major companies had already moved out of these costly quarters to way beyond the city’s municipal boundaries, where they still can afford the rent. My friend’s company will soon follow. The Vneshtorgbank (VTB), a major state-run bank, has just canceled its long-planned relocation to the Federation Tower, the tallest of the Moscow City towers. Soon they will stand empty, symbols of failure.

In a nearly empty restaurant — which until quite recently would have been tightly packed at lunch by officials, business executives, entertainers and journalists — a key Moscow banker tells me quietly, “They admit privately at the top that the crisis has moved into economics. Their most likely answer is tightening the screws, as they’re running out of other means.” In the near future, he envisages Russia’s becoming a country whose dwindling population is mired in deepening poverty, an increasingly authoritarian state, run by a handful of immensely rich people, their despotism mediated only by their wish to be accepted in the West.

The hydrocarbon windfall that fueled the Russian state’s recent revival appears unable….

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http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,
1856037,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

Macy’s Will Cut About 2,300 Employees

February 7, 2008

CINCINNATI (AP — Feb. 6) – Department store operator Macy’s Inc. said Wednesday it will cut about 2,300 management jobs as it consolidates three regional divisions and decentralizes buying in a bid to reduce costs and boost sales.

The Cincinnati-based retailer said it will immediately begin consolidating its Minneapolis-based Macy’s North headquarters into its New York-based Macy’s East, its St. Louis-based Macy’s Midwest organization into its Atlanta-based Macy’s South and its Seattle-based Macy’s Northwest headquarters into its San Francisco-based Macy’s West.

Read the rest:
http://money.aol.com/news/articles/_a/macys-will-cut-about-2300-employees/20080206151409990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001