Lexmark Layoffs Hit 550 in Kentucky

Lexmark’s announcement this week that it will exit the inkjet-printing business will hit hard in Lexington, Ky., where the company is based.

The company announced Tuesday that it is cutting 1,700 jobs and closing a  inkjet supply plant in the Philippines. Those manufacturing jobs will account for 1,100 of the jobs cut. But 550 workers in Lexington, the hub of its R&D operations, are getting pink slips, too. They include 350 full-timers and 200 contractors.

Competitors Xerox and Hewlett-Packard have also reported declining sales for traditional printing equipment, so Lexmark’s shift toward higher-margin software, managed-print services and laser-printing operations comes as no surprise.

“It’s symptomatic of an industry that’s under a lot of pressure,” Gartner analyst Federico De Silva told MarketWatch. “It’s sort of the culmination of [Lexmark’s] strategy, to exit inkjet altogether. People are printing and printing less, and not just in the consumer space.”

The company shed 625 jobs earlier this year as part of its exit from consumer printing.

However, the company recently landed a $21 million contract with the Federal Aviation Administration to provide monochrome and color laser printers as well as multifunction products for the FAA’s more than 800 offices.

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