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January 4, 2024

Xerox lays off 15% of workforce as it plots business ‘reinvention’

The printing giant says that its restructuring efforst will eventually boost its adjusted operating income to $300m by 2026.

By Greg Noone

Xerox has announced it will reduce its workforce by 15% as part of an ongoing restructuring effort. In a statement published yesterday, the printing firm explained that this “reinvention” would focus on stabilising its core print business while boosting productivity through the formation of a new global business services section and the diversification of revenue streams. The planned layoffs will impact over 3,000 staff at Xerox and are expected to commence in the first quarter of this year. 

“The shift to a business unit operating model is a continuation of our client-focused, balanced execution priorities and is designed to accelerate product and services, go-to-market, and corporate functions’ operating efficiencies across all geographies we serve,” said Xerox CEO Steven Bandrowczak.

A Xerox photocopier and printer.
Known for its printing business, Xerox has been increasingly focused on diversifying into other areas, including managed IT services. (Photo by Lutsenko_Oleksandr/Shutterstock)

Xerox layoffs part of broader “Reinvention”

The printing services company emphasised that the goal of its restructuring effort, first announced last October, was to help adapt the business to the new realities of the hybrid working environment. It intends to simplify its core products and “create greater organizational focus on [its] emerging digital services and IT services capabilities to accelerate revenue diversification toward markets with higher growth and profitability profiles”.

Staffing reductions to accommodate these changes appear to have begun at the top of the organisation, with Xerox’s Americas president and chief product officer, Joanne Collins Smee and Tracey Koziol, both departing the company at the end of December

Founded in 1906 as the “Haloid Company”, recent years have seen Xerox attempt to diversify its product portfolio away from printing into mid-market IT and cloud services, cybersecurity, AI and robotic process automation. It has also repeatedly attempted to consolidate its hold over the core printing market. In 2018, Xerox tried and failed to merge with competitor Fujifilm, before launching a takeover bid for HP the following year that was eventually withdrawn in 2020 because of “macroeconomic and market turmoil caused by Covid-19” (bids to acquire UK-based print service specialists ITEC Connect and Altodigital in the same period were more successful). 

That outlook has grown brighter since the pandemic, with Xerox making billions of dollars in savings as part of a wider cost-reduction program. Even so, the firm’s earnings call in October 2023 showed room for improvement, with revenue down by 5.7% and an operating income of $68m. At the time, Xerox stated that its “Reinvention” restructuring programme would eventually boost its adjusted operating income to $300m by 2026. 

Read more: Switch from laser to inkjet printing could aid net zero goals

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