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Xerox Layoffs 2018: Targeted Staff Cuts at Printer Company

Xerox experienced targeted layoffs today across the U.S. and Canada, WHAM reports. The cuts come as multiple printer companies strive to reconfigure their businesses amid intense competition, hardware pricing pressures and customer shifts toward subscription services.

The Xerox layoffs span internal IT operations team members -- including software engineers, system engineers, program managers and associated support as well as finance managers, the report indicated.

Still, the layoffs sound targeted in size. Xerox declined to disclose specific figures, but the layoffs in New York State were below threshold levels that would have triggered specific disclosures to the labor department, according to WXXI.ChannelE2E has not independently confirmed the cuts.

Xerox and Printer Rivals: The Challenges

These are challenge times for Xerox and many of its core rivals. After abandoning a controversial merger with Fuji, Xerox ousted ousted former CEO Jeff Jacobson and installed John Visentin into the position in May 2018. He previously held key posts at Novitex Enterprise Solutions, HP and IBM.

Xerox CEO John Visentin
Xerox CEO John Visentin

Visentin must somehow jumpstart revenue growth at Xerox. For its Q2 2018 results announced in July:

  • Revenue was $2.51 billion, down 2.2 percent from Q2 2017 -- though $20 million better than Wall Street was expecting, according to SeekingAlpha.
  • Net income was $114 million, down from $170 million in Q2 2017. The net income results fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

During that earnings announcement, Visentin vowed to have a "relentless focus on optimization."

Moreover, he said the company was not conducting an auction process -- i.e., Visentin was not seeking buyers for the business. In terms of walking away from the Fuji M&A deal, the company is "confident in our right to terminate the transaction and will defend ourselves through the legal process," he said in July.

During that earnings call, he also vowed to grow the company's managed print services business, while also promoting DocuShare as a Box- and Dropbox-like service for managing digital content.

"We're going to make sure that we have the right mix of direct, indirect and online or e-commerce channels to support our various clients," he said in July. "And we're going to work with our channel partners whether they are agents, concessionaires, document technology partners, solution providers or velocity partners to create frictionless processes and quick response times."

Broader Printer Industry Layoffs

Xerox rivals also are hitting turbulence.

Lexmark Channel Chief Sammy Kinlaw

For instance,  Ricoh earlier this year apparently trimmed 1,000 management positions in Europe. And Lexmark International will experience about 1,000 layoffs in 2018.

Still, Lexmark Global Channel Chief Sammy Kinlaw is upbeat about the company's overall prospects. He plans to announce commercial partner and managed print services (MPS) partner initiatives later this year, Kinlaw indicated during a call with Channel E2E in July.

On a more positive note, HP Inc.’s $1.05 billion buyout of Samsung’s printer business has been mostly drama-free.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.