Boeing to cut jobs at second Dreamliner plant: report

SEATTLE, Fri Feb 28, 2013 — Boeing Co. will cut hundreds of jobs at a South Carolina plant that makes 787 Dreamliners over the course of this year, but the move has nothing to do with the recent grounding of the troubled jetliner, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The cuts, which chiefly target contract workers, are not uncommon as productivity improves on a new airplane program and were conceived before major problems with the 787s battery surfaced, the Journal said. Two high-profile battery malfunctions led to international aviation regulators grounding the jetliner in mid-January.

The cuts could account for up to 20 percent of the workforce in some teams at the plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, the Journal reported, citing an unnamed source familiar with the plan. Overall, the plant employs more than 6,000 people.

Boeing did not confirm the layoffs, but did tell Reuters it plans to reduce reliance on contract workers at the South Carolina plant.

“Boeing regularly uses contract labor and ‘industry assist’ to supplement its workforce during surge activities and on development programs that require a production ramp up – that’s standard practice in the aerospace industry,” said Marc Birtel, a Boeing spokesman. “As we progress in improving efficiencies in our processes, training our entry-level employees and growing the experience of our team in South Carolina, we expect to continue to reduce reliance on contract labor/industry assist to meet our production objectives.”

The South Carolina plant is the second Boeing facility where 787s are assembled after the larger Everett, Wash., facility north of Seattle. Between them, Boeing turns out five Dreamliners per month.

So far, the plane maker has said production has not been slowed by the grounding of

PayPal to cut about 325 jobs in major reorganization

SAN FRANCISCO, Mon Oct 29, 2012 – PayPal is cutting about 325 jobs as part of a major reorganization by its new president, David Marcus, designed to regain an innovative edge and head off rising competition.

PayPal, the online payment pioneer owned by eBay Inc., said on Monday the full-time jobs would be eliminated as it combines nine product-development groups into one. The company is also cutting about 120 contractors.

EBay announced a $15 million pre-tax restructuring charge, to be recorded in its fourth quarter, related to the job reductions.

PayPal, which started in the late 1990s as a scrappy Silicon Valley start-up, had almost 13,000 employees earlier this year.

“In a large company, at some point you reach the law of diminishing returns when more people means slower,” said Marcus, who used to run mobile payments start-up Zong, which PayPal acquired last year.

“You have a lot of duplication of roles with nine product groups merging into one,” he said.

Wall Street considers PayPal the crown jewel of eBay because it is growing fast and profit margins are expanding. But in Silicon Valley, PayPal is considered a slow, bureaucratic behemoth – a reputation that has made it difficult for the company to attract and retain smart software engineers and designers.

PayPal needs such talent more than ever because a slew of payments start-ups, including Square, Stripe and Dwolla, are developing rival services and products that are beginning to catch on with merchants and consumers.

“PayPal has been on a very strong growth trajectory, but it’s facing a period of disruption ahead,” said Kevin Hartz, chief executive of ticketing start-up Eventbrite.

“We just haven’t seen a lot of innovation that’s needed for them to continue their leadership,” added Hartz, who was an early investor in PayPal and owns a small stake in Square now.

Marcus said he is reorganizing PayPal to help engineers and designers develop new products and services more quickly, to keep up with new rivals.

DuPont to cut 1,500 jobs as economy worsens

WILMINGTON, Del., Tue Oct 23, 2012 – DuPont slashed its annual forecast, reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and announced 1,500 job cuts on Tuesday, bleak signs that demand for the chemical company’s lucrative paint and solar products is slipping around the world.

Shares of DuPont, a member of the Dow Jones industrial average .DJIA, fell nearly 7 percent in premarket trading.

The job cuts by the company, which also makes Kevlar bulletproof fiber and Corian countertops, marks one of the more extreme reactions to slipping demand and global economic uncertainty so far in this earnings season.

DuPont’s sales fell 9 percent to $7.4 billion in the third quarter, while analysts on average had expected $8.15 billion.

Demand fell most sharply in Asia and Europe, hurt by higher prices for titanium dioxide, a key pigment used to make paint and a market DuPont dominates, and pastes used to make solar panels.

Trying to reassure Wall Street, DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman said executives were “addressing these challenges now to position ourselves for improved performance.”

The company posted net income of $10 million, or a penny per share, compared with $452 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, DuPont earned 32 cents per share, while analysts on average had expected 46 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company plans to lay off 1,500 employees around the world, about 2 percent of its 70,000-person workforce.

Kraft to cut 1,600 jobs as it splits into two companies

NORTHFIELD, Ill. ― Kraft Foods Inc. said that splitting into two companies would lead it to cut about 1,600 jobs in North America this year and that its 2011 profit should be slightly higher than it had previously forecast.

Kraft also said its 2011 net revenue would be up by about 10 percent, as it ended the year with strong momentum around the world despite a tough operating environment. It expects to report 2011 operating earnings per share of at least $2.28, including a penny per share hit from currency in the fourth quarter.

Previously Kraft had forecast operating earnings per share of at least $2.27, excluding any potential currency impact in the fourth quarter.

Analysts, on average, had expected Kraft to earn $2.27 per share this year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

About 40 percent of the job cuts come from the company realigning its U.S. sales division, Kraft said. About 20 percent of the jobs being cut in the United States and Canada are currently open positions, the company said. The planned job cuts do not include any cuts at manufacturing facilities.

Pepsi mulls 4,000 job cuts in order to boost earnings: report

PURCHASE, N.Y. ― PepsiCo Inc. is considering cutting about 4,000 jobs and reducing pension contributions in order to boost its earnings, the New York Post said, citing sources close to the situation.

Pepsi currently offers a pension plan and a scheme where it matches contributions to 401(k) retirement savings accounts, and believes offering both is more generous than its peers, a source told the Post.

Eliminating the 401(k) match would save Pepsi $75 million, according to the newspaper.

The job cuts, amounting to a little more than 1 percent of the company’s payroll, will include a modest number of workers at its headquarters, the Post said.

Pepsi employs about 300,000 workers globally, 2,000 of whom are in Purchase, according to the NY Post.

A Pepsi spokesman declined to comment on the proposed cuts to the New York Post. The company could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.