Two of the largest electrical manufacturers announced a combined total of more than 7,000 job cuts. Cooper Industries Ltd., Houston, reported a 38 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit and said it has more than doubled its work force cuts to 2,200 employees worldwide. Cooper had said it would cut its work force by more than 1,000 employees. However, as economic conditions deteriorated, Cooper's Chairman and CEO Kirk S. Hachigian said the company decided it was necessary to increase the reduction in work force in excess of 2,200 employees globally.
Eaton Corp., Cleveland, said it would cut 5,200 jobs as part of a plan to reduce costs because of a drop in demand for its products. The move is intended to help the company reduce costs by $125 million in 2009 and follows 3,400 job cuts last year.
“We took significant employee reduction actions in 2008 in anticipation of the severe downturn, and in January we have taken further actions,” said Sandy Cutler, Eaton chairman and CEO. “The continued decline in our end markets in early 2009 unfortunately necessitated that we reduce our workforce even further than we originally anticipated. The employee reductions in 2008 and 2009 total about 10 percent of our full-time workforce.”
Eaton also announced that its businesses are being reorganized into two sectors — Electrical and Industrial — with a vice chairman and chief operating officer for each sector. The changes are effective Feb 1. Thomas S. Gross has been named vice chairman and chief operating officer — Electrical Sector. Gross will succeed Randy W. Carson, chief executive officer — Electrical Group, who will retire at the end of April.