Business

Lenovo says it is laying off 500 workers, including some in Research Triangle Park

Computer maker Lenovo is laying off hundreds of employees across its global workforce, a move that will have an impact at its facilities in Research Triangle Park.

The company confirmed the layoffs on Wednesday morning, saying in a statement that it would affect around 500 positions.

A spokeswoman for the company said that, “while these actions aren’t easy, they are necessary” to achieve “sustainable, profitable growth.” The company did not specify how many jobs in North Carolina would be affected.

Lenovo, which is based in China but has a headquarters in Morrisville, had employed more than 3,000 workers in the Triangle as of 2017, The News & Observer previously reported. Lenovo added that it will now have about 5,000 employees in the U.S. and 57,000 globally.

Lenovo has a history of periodically laying off employees here in the Triangle.

In 2017, the company laid off around 300 workers in RTP and, in 2016, the company cut less than 1 percent of its Triangle workers — fewer than 32 employees — as part of a larger, worldwide job-cutting initiative aimed at turning around its money-losing Motorola business, The N&O reported.

Those cuts were preceded still by a 2015 cut of 3,200 white-collar workers worldwide — about 5 percent of its workforce at the time — including 230 Triangle employees. The company said its goal then was to reduce expenses by about $1.35 billion.

Since Lenovo is a Chinese company, many watchers of the company have kept an eye on how the U.S.’s trade war with China could impact the company’s business.

The company’s chief financial officer, Wai Ming Wong, told CNBC earlier this month that if tariffs were placed on consumer electronics then Lenovo could shift production to other countries.

But despite worries about trade, the company has performed well financially over the past year. The computer maker reported a profit of $597 million for its latest fiscal year, which ended March 31, CNBC reported. That was an improvement from a loss of $189 million in its previous fiscal year.

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.
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