EDS May Cut More Jobs Than Planned

Aug 26, 2003 (09:08 AM EDT)

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PLANO, Texas (AP) -- Electronic Data Systems Corp. says it could cut more jobs than the 2,700 it already plans to eliminate if it can find new areas to cut costs, the technology-consulting company said in a regulatory filing.

The previously announced layoffs amount to 2 percent of the work force at EDS, which manages computer systems for other companies and government agencies.

An EDS spokesman, Kevin Lightfoot, said there could be additional layoffs if redundant jobs and processes are discovered at the Plano-based company. Lightfoot said, however, that Monday's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission does not mean that more layoffs are imminent.

EDS has struggled for the past year since problems with major contracts and a slowdown in corporate spending on technology dragged down earnings.

The company, which is under an SEC investigation of an earnings warning and stock transactions, replaced its chief executive this year.

In Monday's SEC filing, EDS said it might cut its work force by more than 2 percent "in connection with our ongoing transformation efforts or otherwise."

The filing detailed a program to let employees trade in stock options that were issued at prices above EDS's current share price.

EDS plans to let employees swap options that were granted at $33 or above for a smaller number of options at a lower exercise price, which the company said it has not yet determined. Options that aren't exchanged by Sept. 23 will be canceled.

EDS slashed 5,200 jobs in 2000 and announced 7,700 job cuts last year as the market for computer services slumped. CEO Richard Brown resigned in March and was replaced by former CBS chairman Michael H. Jordan, who announced the latest round of layoffs in June.

EDS has about 137,000 employees.