Land Lease cutting jobs
Australia’s largest property developer Lend Lease said yesterday it would lose about 1,700 jobs worldwide due to the global financial crisis, the second national company in as many days to flag job cuts. Lend Lease posted a A$600 million (US$388 million) first-half loss compared with a A$251 million profit recorded a year earlier, saying deteriorating economic and market conditions had forced it to reduce its global staff. “There is no doubt that 2009 is challenging as the effects of the global financial crisis continue to be felt,” chief executive Steve McCann said.
Jobs will be back: Apple
Apple’s board of directors on Wednesday assured stockholders at its annual gathering that ailing chief executive Steve Jobs was on track to return to the company’s helm in June as planned. “Nothing has changed,” Apple board member Arthur Levinson replied when a shareholder asked whether Jobs would return to work on schedule. Apple announced on Jan. 14 that Jobs, who turned 54 on Tuesday, will be on a leave of absence until the end of June because his health issues were “more complex” than initially believed.
Microsoft sues TomTom
Microsoft on Wednesday said it is steering Netherlands-based vehicle navigation systems firm TomTom to court for infringing on the software giant’s patented technology. Microsoft filed complaints against TomTom in US district court and with the International Trade Commission, said Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft. Patents involved in the case relate to vehicle navigation technology and computer software that Microsoft has licensed to other firms, he said.
Cisco cutting 250 jobs
Cisco Systems Inc, the largest maker of networking equipment, cut 250 jobs in San Jose, California, this week, as the company begins a worldwide effort to trim headcount and consolidate offices. Cisco chief executive officer John Chambers said earlier this month the company was always “realigning and restructuring resources” and that 1,500 to 2,000 jobs might be eliminated in the near term. Cisco said then its headcount was 67,318 last quarter.
VW has new plans for China
German automaker Volkswagen AG said yesterday that it is launching a new strategy for the China market, aiming to double its sales by upgrading its brand image and improving customer service. “We plan to add or renew at least four models per year and double the number of dealerships to achieve our sales target,” Winfried Vahland, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company’s president for China, said in a statement. Volkswagen reported a new record of 6.23 million vehicles sold last year, up 0.6 percent from the year before. Sales in China rose 12.5 percent to 1.02 million last year, compared with 1.06 million in Germany, Volkswagen’s biggest market.
Allianz lost big last year
German insurance giant Allianz yesterday posted a worse-than-expected loss for last year, owing in large part to a huge charge in connection with the sale of its Dresdner Bank subsidiary. Allianz said its net loss amounted to 2.44 billion euros (US$3.1 billion). Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a 1.86 billion euro drop. Allianz made a net profit of 7.97 billion euros in 2007.