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Oracle Will Lay Off Up to 900 Employees

March 21, 2001|From Bloomberg News

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Oracle Corp., the second-biggest independent software maker, said Tuesday that it will cut as much as 2% of its work force, or nearly 900 jobs, because a slowing economy is hurting sales to corporations.

Oracle, which employs about 43,300 people, last week reported disappointing sales and profit for its fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 28 and said it would miss forecasts for the current quarter.

Like other makers of computer equipment and software, Oracle is trimming payroll to make up for lower-than-expected sales. The job cuts are smaller than those planned by Cisco Systems Inc., Motorola Inc. and Intel Corp.

Some analysts and investors said it shouldn't have taken Chief Executive Larry Ellison and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Henley so long to figure out that Oracle's sales would be hurt as well.

"The management of that place is reality-challenged," said Bert Hochfeld, an analyst with Josephthal & Co. who has a "buy" recommendation on Oracle.

Ellison and Henley couldn't be reached for comment. Company spokeswoman Stacey Torman said: "Based on current business conditions, at this time the company expects to reduce our worldwide work force by approximately 1% to 2% through normal attrition and regular business performance assessments." She would not elaborate.

Oracle shares fell $1.06, or 6.9%, to $14.38 on Nasdaq.

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