Xerox to cut 15% of its workforce in the first quarter of 2024

Xerox announced Wednesday that it is reducing its workforce by 15 percent as part of a restructuring, the company’s latest effort to focus on its business services offerings and move away from its iconic photocopiers.

In a Press release, the company announced that it would reduce its global workforce, which included approximately 23,000 employees in 2022, and appoint a new management team. The layoffs are expected to take place in the first quarter of 2024.

The company’s shares fell more than 12 percent after the layoff announcement. Its stock price has risen steadily over the past year, in part because Xerox saved billions of dollars after launching a cost-cutting program in 2018. drop of about 6 percent of turnover in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year.

Xerox was founded in 1906 as the Haloid Company. Having been primarily known for manufacturing photocopiers throughout the 20th century – so much so that “Xerox” became a verb – and facing pressure from Japanese competitors like Canon, the company decided to focus more on financial services, such as insurance and real estate.

This strategy ultimately backfired and the company sold off these divisions in the 1990s. In recent years, Xerox has struggled to adapt to the digital age as demand for ink and documents printed matter was falling apart.

The transition would come in fits and starts, with a series of moves that would not generate profits.

Under the leadership of Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox, the company sought to strengthen its business services by helping clients streamline document flow in the human resources and healthcare fields and by managing systems of payment. In 2010, he acquired Affiliated Computer Services, which manages computer payment services for E-ZPass highway tolls, for $6.4 billion.

But Xerox sold its information technology outsourcing business worth more than $1 billion in 2014 and competition from China in producing cartridge clone manufacturers have hurt its profits. The company was also looking to break into the field of 3D printing, but it sold this business unitalso, in August 2023.

In 2018, the company announced its merger with Fujifilm, the Japanese conglomerate. That merger was canceled less than three months later after activist shareholders, including Carl Icahn, protested the decision, calling it undervaluation of Xerox. In 2019, Xerox sought to acquire HP, but that deal was also canceled after HP rejected it, citing concerns about Xerox’s financial health.