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Rockwell to restructure

Aug. 1, 2003
Rockwell International Corp., Costa Mesa, Calif., plans to divide its Rockwell Automation business and spin off Rockwell Semiconductor Systems as a separate

Rockwell International Corp., Costa Mesa, Calif., plans to divide its Rockwell Automation business and spin off Rockwell Semiconductor Systems as a separate company as part of a restructuring effort. The company will also eliminate 3,800 jobs in the automation and avionics businesses.

The restructuring is intended to cut costs, particularly in the motors business, said Don Davis, chairman and chief executive of Rockwell, in a letter to shareholders June 29. The automation division has grown in just a few years from approximately $1 billion in annual sales to $4.5 billion, and that size of company requires an entirely different organization and cost structure, said a Rockwell spokesperson. Most of the cost savings are expected to come from redundant administrative functions that date back to the acquisition of Reliance Electric in 1996. There was no word at press time on the possible impact on Rockwell Automation's sales and marketing organizations.

Rockwell Automation will be divided into two operating units. Reliance motors and Dodge mechanical power transmission products will be combined into a Motor and Mechanical Power Transmission unit under Joe Swann, president, who will report directly to Davis. The rest of Rockwell Automation, including Allen-Bradley, Reliance Electric and Rockwell Software, continues to report to Jodie Glore, president and chief operating officer of Rockwell Automation.

About the Author

Doug Chandler | Senior Staff Writer

Doug has been reporting and writing on the electrical industry for Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Marketing since 1992 and still finds the industry’s evolution and the characters who inhabit its companies endlessly fascinating. That was true even before e-commerce, LED lighting and distributed generation began to disrupt so many of the electrical industry’s traditional practices.

Doug earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Kansas after spending a few years in KU’s William Allen White School of Journalism, then deciding he absolutely did not want to be a journalist. In the company of his wife, two kids, two dogs and two cats, he spends a lot of time in the garden and the kitchen – growing food, cooking, brewing beer – and helping to run the family coffee shop.

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