Telecom Giant Firing 25% of Workforce in Israel

ECI, employing 1,000 people in Israel, is reeling from competition from China’s Huawei Technologies.

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Hurting from competition, ECI Telecom has begun laying off about a quarter of its 1,000-member workforce in Israel.

The company, which makes telecommunications equipment, is reeling from fierce competition from China's Huawei Technologies which has impacted sales in several key product lines. ECI employs 2,000 people worldwide.

Last year the company also laid off 200 workers, including 150 in Israel.

It commented that it is adapting its costs to circumstances. "The layoff is due to strategic changes and the company's expansion into new fields. Meanwhile ECI is hiring new workers in the field of development," the firm stated.

ECI - now privately-held - is believed to be turning over $600 million to $800 million a year. During the past decade ECI moved some of its development activity out of Israel, partly to China and India.

In 2007 ECI was bought and taken private by private equity firm Swarth Group, run by Shaul Shani along with Holland's Ashmore Investment Management. Darryl Edwards was appointed CEO in August 2012.

"Telecom companies around the world fall under regulatory and competitive pressures and are therefore being meticulous in preserving their cash positions and postponing investments that aren't urgent," Edwards said at the time of his appointment.

ECI Telecom headquarters in Petah Tikva: 150 dismissals.Credit: Limor Edri

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