Iomega to cut staff by more than a third

Iomega Corp. announced yesterday that it would lay off 38% of its employees worldwide and terminate leases and other contractual agreements in a restructuring move that also includes taking a charge of $55 million to $65 million in the third quarter.

The Roy, Utah-based manufacturer of portable data storage, including the Zip drive, said it has notified employees of the cuts, which will reduce the company's workforce from 3,300 employees to 2,050. Iomega said it's taking these steps to keep its costs in line with revenue and to improve its cash flow.

"We have taken some very difficult but necessary steps to adjust the company's operating and cost structure to our expected revenue levels," said Werner Heid, Iomega president and CEO, in a statement. "Our goal in the short term is to significantly lower the break-even point of this business, stop the revenue decline and improve operational efficiencies."

The company said the charge it is taking includes about $43 million in expected cash charges that apply to severance-related expenses, lease terminations, contractual obligations and other cash expenses.

The company will cut approximately 780 jobs in North America, 90 jobs in Europe and 380 jobs in the Asia-Pacific region. The company also said it plans to reduce the number of leased facilities in those areas.

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