Philips sign outside offices

Philips to cut 5 per cent of its global workforce

Image credit: Foto 45882185 © Tomnex |

Philips has become the latest company in the technology industry to announce large-scale layoffs, as the company revealed it would cut 6,000 jobs worldwide.

Dutch consumer electronics and medical equipment maker Philips will cut 6,000 jobs over the next two years, in addition to the reduction of 4,000 staff announced in October, the company has revealed.

The decision followed the reports that the company suffered a net loss of €1.6bn (£1.49bn) last year, down from a net profit of €3.3bn (£2.9bn) in 2021.

The decline in revenue has largely been attributed to a write-down in the value of its Sleep & Respiratory Care business, which recently recalled 5.5 million ventilators used to treat sleep apnoea over worries that foam used in the machines could become toxic.

The large-scale recall slashed around 70 per cent off  Philips' market value in 2022, according to reports. 

Philips CEO Roy Jakobs said 2022 was “a very difficult year for Philips and our stakeholders, and we are taking firm actions to improve our execution and step up performance with urgency”.

He added the job cuts will significantly reduce costs and make Philips a “leaner and more focused organisation”.

Jakobs specified that the 6,000 layoffs would take place over the next two years, with 3,000 of them being implemented in 2023, in line with the relevant local regulations and processes.

He described the layoffs, which will be concentrated in the United States and the Netherlands and primarily affecting business lines with falling sales, as "unfortunate, but necessary."

The cuts represent just over 5 per cent of the company's workforce based on last year's total of 78,000. Philips said it expected the reorganisation to cost around €300m (£264m) in the coming quarters.

Jakobs joined Philips as CEO in October 2022 and was immediately faced with the task of dealing with the response to the ventilator recall and resolving supply chain issues that were affecting Philips' overall sales. 

The company is currently in talks with the US Department of Justice on a settlement following the ventilator recall. 

Philips is only the latest of a series of technology companies that have recently announced large-scale restructuring plans. Last week, Microsoft announced it would cut 10,000 jobs while Google parent company Alphabet announced it would lay off about 12,000 people worldwide. 

The announcements followed the confirmation of Amazon’s plans to lay off  18,000 employees, as well as the announcement that Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, would be cutting its global workforce by 13 per cent.

IBM, SAP, Twitter, Lyft, Snap, Stripe, Salesforce and Spotify are some of the other technology firms to have laid off workers in recent months.

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