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Sun 'Redeployment' To Trim Staff By 300

No one's being asked to leave, but because there are so few job openings within Sun, employees being shifted around have fewer options, and some will opt to leave.
Slowly, but surely, Sun Microsystems staff are feeling the pain of so many others. While other tech bellwethers have been laying off tens of thousands of workers, and despite posting its first loss in 12 years (for the quarter ended June 30), Sun hasn't announced any layoffs. But the company expects its latest round of regular staff "redeployments" to result in a workforce reduction of about 300, or less than 1% of its 43,000 employees.

A Sun spokeswoman says the staff cut is entirely incidental. She says that in the past, Sun's redeployments--in which it shifts employees among its divisions based on business needs--allowed all affected employees to move to new jobs within Sun. This time, however, there are fewer jobs available for those being displaced from a variety of divisions. "Obviously, there aren't as many jobs available as there were a year ago," says the spokeswoman.

The employees being redeployed will probably choose to leave rather than wait for an opening at Sun, the spokeswoman says. In fact, nearly 900 employees are being impacted by the redeployment, with nearly 600 expected to land new spots within Sun. Sun is calling the departures "attrition."

Steve Duplessie, a senior analyst with Enterprise Storage Group, says he's surprised Sun hasn't acted more dramatically to cut its staff, but he applauds the company's decision to maintain its staffing levels as much as possible in anticipation of an economic recovery. Say Duplessie, "If you believe this lack of IT spending is a short-term bubble--and I do--then you're insane to let a bunch of people go who you can't hire back."