Business & Finance

Hughes Electronics Corp. said it will cut up to 10 percent of its US workforce of 7,900 as it struggles to regain profitability. The El Segundo, Calif.-based company runs the satellite television service DirecTV and is a subsidiary of General Motors. A spokesman for Hughes said most of the layoffs will occur within the DirecTV operation, which has 10 million subscribers and is the US's largest satellite-TV broadcaster.

Two more of the world's electronics giants, Toshiba and Hitachi, are on the brink of announcing major layoffs, respected Japanese newspapers reported. Yomiuri Shimbun said it learned that Hitachi executives are almost finished with a plan that calls for 20,000 job cuts in money-losing divisions such as semiconductors and electronics parts as the company focuses instead on software and other growth areas. Hitachi is Japan's largest electronics manufacturer. Meanwhile, the mass-circulation Asahi and the business journal Nihon Keizai said Toshiba, the nation's largest chipmaker, would cut at least 10,000 jobs and possibly up to 20,000. If the reports are correct, the two will join such other electronics manufacturers as NEC, Fujitsu, Philips, and Motorola in cutting deeply into their staffs.

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