Xerox workforce in the first quarter cut 15% of its 2024Xerox workforce in the first quarter cut 15% of its 2024

On Wednesday, Xerox made the announcement that they would be reorganising their workforce and will be laying off 15% of its workforce. It is their intention to shift their focus away from their well-known photocopiers and towards the business services side of their firm.

The organisation announced in their news release their intentions to reduce the size of their worldwide staff from approximately 23,000 members in 2022 to a reduced number of employees and to select a new leadership group. It is expected that the workforce reductions will take place in the first quarter of 2024.

Following the disclosure of the layoffs, the company’s stocks dropped by more than 12%. The shares had seen an extended time of growth, mostly due to Xerox’s successful cost-cutting programme in 2018, which resulted in the company earning billions of dollars. Their sales saw a decline of around 6% in the third quarter of 2023 in comparison to the previous year.

Xerox was founded under the name Haloid Company in 1906. During the entirety of the 20th century, they established a reputation for producing photocopy devices to the extent that the term “Xerox” came to mean “copying materials.” However, competition from Japanese firms such as Canon intensified thereafter. As a result, Xerox attempted a pivot, venturing into financial services such as real estate and insurance.

Nonetheless, that plan did not go over too well. Ultimately, those components were sold during the 1990s. Recent years have been particularly difficult for them to adapt to the digital age, as fewer individuals prefer to use ink and paper documents.

Their process of adaptation was fraught with difficulty. Despite executing numerous strategies, they failed to generate the anticipated level of profitability.

As Xerox’s previous CEO, Ursula Burns, the corporation aspired to improve its business services by assisting customers in managing document flow, particularly in areas such as human resources and health care. They even dealt with payment mechanisms. Remember when they paid $6.4 billion for Affiliated Computer Services in 2010? That change was only for the purpose of providing payment systems for items like E-ZPass highway tolls.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing. In 2014, Xerox sold its information technology outsourcing business for more than a billion dollars. Furthermore, competition from China in the manufacture of cartridge clones reduced their earnings. They also attempted to dabble in 3D printing but ended up selling the section in August 2023.

Then there came the major news in 2018 regarding a merger with the Japanese conglomerate Fujifilm. However, guess what? The whole arrangement was terminated less than three months later. Why? Carl Icahn and other activist shareholders were not having it. Activist shareholders such as Carl Icahn claimed that Xerox was being taken advantage of. Remember the effort to acquire HP in 2019? HP declined, citing concerns about Xerox’s financial soundness.

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