Siemens-Gores Venture Unify Plans to Eliminate 3,800 Jobs

Unify GmbH, a partnership of engineering company Siemens AG and private-equity investor Gores Group LLC, will cut its workforce by almost half to focus on marketing a new enterprise-communications software product.

The joint venture will eliminate 3,800 positions from a 7,700-employee workforce, with about 50 percent of the cutbacks coming in central Europe and the main reductions in research and development, Munich-based Unify said in a statement.

“Unify has to change to remain competitive,” Chief Executive Officer Dean Douglas, who took over Jan. 16, said in the statement. “This requires a stronger focus on preparing technology with better access to product and services through a broader selection of partners.”

The company, 49 percent owned by Siemens and 51 percent by Los Angeles-based Gores, is scaling back on development jobs six months after re-branding itself from Siemens Enterprise Communications while bringing out the product, Project Ansible.

Douglas joined from Westcon Group Inc. with a remit to drive sales of the new technology, which is designed to enable workers to collaborate more easily by combining phone and electronic communications. Predecessor Hamid Akhavan, who is now a supervisory board member, said the offering was intended to make Unify attractive to new investors.

Several sites will be shut in Germany, while Unify is also evaluating moving its headquarters from Munich, where Siemens is also based.

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