Marconi restructures, cuts 70 staff

Marconi has cut 70 staff from its Australian operation as a result of a restructure of its enterprise, wireless and networks business into one Australia/New Zealand operation.

The UK telecommunications equipment maker, established here in 1999, said the reorganisation was forced by harsh conditions in the current telecommunications market, and is an attempt to prevent duplication in core business functions.

"Everyone would agree that the telco market is challenging right now. We've seen a real downturn in the industry," a spokeswoman for Marconi Australia said. She refused to specify which lines of business had suffered the biggest slowdown in sales this year.

The new structure integrates three core divisions: networks, wireless and enterprise, into one trans-Tasman organisation.

The consolidation will allow the company to "focus its resources into its core network solutions business and more effectively support its customers," Marconi said in a statement today.

While the Australian redundancies were believed to have impacted mostly those in the company's enterprise services division, the spokeswoman said that cuts were made across the board and in all branches in Australia. No cuts were made to New Zealand staff.

Marconi will now focus more on the carrier-class network communications market, targeting large carriers, operators and corporate enterprises, the spokeswoman said.

The Australian subsidiary was believed to have around 700 employees before downsizing this week, 350 people of which are in the three integrated business divisions.

Former Australiasian managing director of Marconi's networks group Paul Butler has been appointed Australia/New Zealand managing director and senior vice president for Asia-Pacific.

Matt Ranawaki will remain local head of the wireless division.

Former managing director of enterprises services for Marconi Australia, Adrian Siebel, was made redundant earlier this week. The spokeswoman would not comment on Siebel's immediate plans.

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