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Fujitsu has announced that it will be taking a number of steps to restructure its business, including the closure of its German manufacturing headquarters and the resignation of a number of board members.
The firm’s president, Tatsuya Tanaka, told the Fujitsu Forum in Munich that the firm would be closing its Augsburg manufacturing facility in Germany, putting 1,800 jobs at risk.
He also said the firm’s head of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAIA) for Fujitsu, Duncan Tait, as well as the firm’s chief financial officer (CFO), would be resigning as executive directors and the firm would be halving its number of executive officers.
Tait, confirming this change in direction, said Fujistu is building a service-oriented company and that the decisions came out of a review of the business both inside and outside of Japan.
In reference to the closure of the firm’s plant in Germany, Tait said although there are some “brilliant people in that facility”, it was clear the firm needed to make the choice to close the plant to help improve profit margins.
Tait also said there would be more of a focus around providing digital services such as hybrid IT, application transformation, business services, blockchain and internet of things (IoT).
He admitted that although Emea has been successful in some aspects, it has not been delivering “on time” in terms of the firm’s target operating profit margin of 10% by 2022 for Technology Solutions.
“What we need to do is accelerate our progress towards operating profit,” said Tait. “Some of the tougher measures we’ve announced will accelerate our journey towards that goal.”
But it isn’t all bad news for the firm, as it also announced that it will be opening an artificial intelligence (AI) hub in Vancouver, Canada, which will focus on AI innovation and research.
The Canadian AI-hub will house the firm’s new Fujitsu Intelligence Technology initiative, aiming to further develop the firm’s Japanese AI technologies and deliver them to other regions globally so they can be sold as products and services.
Helen Lamb, head of industry and services and deputy head of global service delivery for the firm, said the restructure and focus on service delivery has given the firm the opportunity to focus on more easily accessing skills in particular industry verticals, stating that the Japanese arm of the firm has already been operating in this way for some time.
Lamb said this structure had created “a way for the rest of our global organisation to connect to Japan and vice versa”.