Xerox Axes 15 Percent Of Workforce, Admits ‘Cyber Incident’

Xerox has delivered bad news to thousands of its employees at the start of 2024, as part of its “reinvention and operating model evolution.”

Buried within the statement about the reorganisation and executive reshuffle at Xerox, came the news that 15 percent of the workforce would be axed, which equates to roughly 3,000 jobs. The most recent annual report revealed Xerox had about 20,500 employees globally.

“By implementing this new operating model, the company will take action this quarter, targeting a 15 percent workforce reduction,” said Xerox. “Proposed reductions will be subject to formal consultation with local works councils and employee representative bodies where applicable. Xerox is committed to providing transition support for affected employees.”

Workforce layoffs

The Xerox leadership team is also being organised, with Xerox Americas president Joanne Collins Smee and Chief Product Officer Tracey Koziol both departing the firm.

Shares in Xerox fell nearly 11 percent on Wednesday following the news of the layoffs.

“The evolution of Xerox’s Reinvention aligns our resources in three key areas – improvement and stabilisation of our core print business, increased productivity and efficiency through the formation of a new Global Business Services organization, and disciplined execution in revenue diversification,” said CEO Steven Bandrowczak.

“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 Bandrowczak.

Xerox said that its new operating plan includes “improvement and stabilisation of our core print business,” a “simplification” of its global business services and a “greater organisational focus” on its IT services unit.

Specifically, the firm said it will reorganise into a “core print business”; a “global business services”; and “IT and digital services” divisions.

As for the layoffs, Xerox told CNN they will happen this quarter and affected employees will be given “transition support.”

Tech icon

Norwalk, Connecticut-based Xerox was created in 1906, and is a long-standing tech icon in the IT industry – perhaps best known as the pioneer of photocopiers.

But Xerox was responsible for more than that.

Years ago its researchers at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center were responsible for developing many technologies that are still in use today, including Ethernet and the graphical user interface (GUI).

The firm has undergone a number of transformations in the past decade as it sought to reinvent itself for the modern age.

Xerox sold its Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) business to Atos back in December 2014 for £670m.

Then in 2016 Xerox was formally split into two separate businesses (hardware – Document Technology) and IT services (business process outsourcing).

Then in 2018 Xerox was combined into an existing copier joint venture it already had with Japan’s Fujifilm.

Cyber incident

In late December 2023 Xerox confirmed that its subsidiary, Xerox Business Solutions, “experienced a security incident.”

Xerox said it is actively working with third-party cybersecurity experts to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident and is taking necessary steps to further secure the XBS IT environment.

It said the incident had no impact on Xerox’s corporate systems, operations or data, and no effect on XBS operations.

However, its preliminary investigation indicates that limited personal information in the XBS environment may have been affected.

“While it remains unclear whether Xerox is in negotiations with INC Ransom, the removal of their leaked documents implies ongoing discussion may be taking place.,” noted Darren Williams, CEO and Founder at BlackFog.

“Given that data exfiltration claims were made by the ransomware group, the company is likely scrambling to safeguard not only themselves but their customers,” said Williams. “Negotiating with cybercriminals is highly discouraged and should be avoided at all costs.”

“Paying a ransom or even just entering into negotiations builds confidence within the cybercriminal network and provides an incentive for future attacks on the same company, and others alike,” Williams concluded. “Once it becomes known that there is a willingness to cooperate, cybercriminals are likely to persist in their attacks.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

Recent Posts

Microsoft Recall Triggers Enquiry From UK Data Regulator

Privacy concerns. ICO seeks feedback after Microsoft introduces AI Recall feature that screenshots users' laptops…

3 hours ago

Upcoming Honor Smartphones To Feature Google AI Tech

Honor will include Google AI features in upcoming devices, despite geopolitical tensions between Washington and…

4 hours ago

Amazon To Refresh Alexa With AI, Charge Monthly Subscription – Report

Alexa voice assistant to be upgraded with AI capabilities, and users charged a monthly fee…

5 hours ago

Electric Vehicles Twice As Likely To Hit Pedestrians – Study

Study analysed UK road collisions, finds pedestrians twice as likely to be hit by an…

6 hours ago

EU Countries Endorse AI Act, Due Next Month

European countries have officially endorsed the flagship EU AI Act, which is due to come…

9 hours ago

SpaceX Demos First Video Call Of T-Mobile’s Direct To Cell Service

Video call made from one smartphone connected to Starlink satellite, to another phone connected to…

11 hours ago