Japan's Ricoh to shape up, axe 10,000 jobs

Japanese copier and printer maker Ricoh Co today announced plans to cut nearly 10 per cent (more than 10,000) of its global workforce, to emerge leaner and stronger in a world where low-cost manufacturers are increasingly usurping markets of Japanese companies.

Almost all major Japanese companies are struggling to boost profits in order to compete with better performing rivals from Japan as well as neighbouring countries.

Ricoh obviously failed to match competition from Xerox and Cannon, which had, over the years expanded their market overseas.

The restructuring across its global facilities and consumer outlets, including weeding out of unprofitable products, is expected to result in a reduction of over 10,000 jobs from its global workforce of 1,09,000.

Ricoh's problems, like that of other Japanese consumer durable makers, have been compounded by the tsunami and the earthquake and the ensuing nuclear catastrophe that hit a Japanese economy that was already into recession.

Ricoh's moves come close on the heels of Panasonic Corp's announcement last month that it would cut 17,000 jobs and close nearly 70 factories across the world.