Ericsson losing 167 jobs in RTP

Staff WriterJune 9, 2009 

By year's end, 167 Ericsson workers will lose their jobs in Research Triangle Park, leaving fewer than two dozen at the RTP site, which employed 1,800 at its peak a decade ago.

Ericsson, the world's largest builder of cell phone networks, reported the layoff total Friday to the state Department of Commerce. The employees, who were notified more than a month ago, will be let go in seven phases between Aug. 7 and Dec. 31. Some will be offered opportunities to transfer to other locations.

The Swedish company is dismantling its JT- Ericsson joint venture here this year as it consolidates operations in response to dwindling sales. The venture, between ST-NXP Wireless and Ericsson Mobile Platforms, was formed in February. It employs about 8,000 worldwide and makes semiconductors used in mobile phones.

The handful of Ericsson workers left in RTP could shrink further as the company transfers its research and development functions to Silicon Valley, said company spokeswoman Kathy Egan. Ericsson employs more than 70,000 worldwide.

Ericsson established a presence at RTP in 1990 and later spun off its handset operations to Sony Ericsson, shifting hundreds of employees to the joint venture with Sony. That venture employed 850 in RTP at its peak, but it has also suffered declining sales and employs about half that number of people now.

john.murawski@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8932

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