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Thu 9 Aug 2007 12:00 AM

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Sun's ME operations to escape job cuts

Workforce reduction won't impact Middle East, Sun's regional managing director tells

The Middle East will be kept safe from the latest round of job cuts at server and software maker Sun Microsystems, a senior regional representative for the firm said today.

The California, US-based company plans to cut its work force in this second half of this year as part of a restructuring plan, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Sun expects to incur total charges ranging from US$100 million to US$150 million over the next several quarters in connection with the restructuring plan mainly related to severance costs, the filing on the US Securities and Exchange Commission said.

The filing did not specify the number of jobs the firm plans to cut.

In an emailed statement to, Chris Cornelius, managing director, Sun Microsystems, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), said Sun's operations in the region would not be impacted by the job cuts.

"Because Sun's MENA business has demonstrated exceptional growth and experienced rising demand from across all industry verticals, it has provided us with a strong pipeline of growth opportunities. Additional investment will be channelled to fuel Sun's MENA business and realize this growth potential, so there will be no job cuts at Sun MENA," he said.

Sun employs approximately 150 employees in the Middle East, of which more than half are at its Dubai headquarters. The company has approximately 35,000 employees in total.

The server giant, which is currently seeking to improve its profitability, cut between 4,000 and 5,000 jobs, equivalent to 11%-13% of its workforce, last year, and analysts have been saying for some time that further restructuring is necessary for the firm to meet its long-term financial goals.

The Middle East, however, has been a strong driver of growth for Sun, with the MENA region growing 35% in 2006 over 2005, the highest growth of all Sun's markets except for Russia.

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