Boeing prepares to cut nearly 800 IT workers

The layoffs are expected in April

The Boeing Co. late last week issued 1,000 layoff notices to employees, many of them working in IT.

The company sent 60-day layoff notices to the workers, who are at risk of being laid off on April 23. Of those notices, about 800 went to employees of Boeing's engineering, operations and technology unit; most of the people in that unit are in IT, according to Tim Healy, a company spokesman.

The aerospace company employs 158,500 people, including 18,000 in its engineering and technology group.

Healy said that between now and the layoff date, retirements and other forms of attrition could eliminate the need for some of the cuts, "although it's impossible to predict how often that could happen or how many employees will actually leave the company," he said.

This layoff plan is a continuation of the company's efforts to cut 10,000 jobs.

Boeing outsources some of its software development to third parties in India, but it's unclear whether that played a role in the layoffs announced last week. Boeing has outsourced work to a number of Indian IT vendors in recent years.

Last March, Boeing announced the opening of the Boeing Research & Technology–India Center in Bengaluru, India. The company said that operation is its third advanced research center outside the U.S.

Boeing late last month said that its revenue for 2009 hit a record $68.3 billion, up from $60.9 billion in 2008, and attributed the performance to higher commercial deliveries and growth in the defense, space and security areas.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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